Microtiter plates - Info

Microtiter plate

Microtiter plates are laboratory equipments, mostly made of plastic (polystyrene) with several wells (cavities) separated from each other (Fig. 1). They facilitate handling and analysis in case of a large number of samples. Various executions of microtiter plates are available with:

  • • different numbers (6, 12, 24, 48, 96 (Fig. 1), 384, 1536) of wells
  • • differently shaped (flat, conical and u-shaped) wells (Fig. 2)
  • • various sized (0,01 ml – 5 ml) wells

Example of a microtiter plate with 96 wells, showing the differently shaped wells


Depending on the application microtiter plates are transparent (for optical measurements, colorimetry), black (for fluorescence-measurements) or white (for luminescence-measurements). Standardized dimensions (length: 127.75 mm, width: 85.48 mm, high: 14.35 mm) ensure a uniform size of all microtiter plate types. With special instruments like microplate readers  the samples contained in single wells can be analyzed.

Microtiter plates are most frequently used for screenings and cultivation of large sample amounts.

In order to perform an immunoassay (e. g. ELISAEnzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) the bottoms of microtiter plate wells are coated with antibodies to detect specific substances within samples.