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Jan 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Increasing Throughput in Cellular Assays

Reduction of Edge Effect Allows Results to Remain Consistent Across Entire Plate

  • Results

    Click Image To Enlarge +
    Figure 1. Comparison of cell count per field in the Edge plates with either a filled or empty moat: The graphs show the cell count per field distribution across the entire plate (96 wells).

    Well-to-Well Variation in Cell Growth. As shown in Figure 1, the Edge plate with a filled moat has a cell count per field of 130–170 across the entire plate, whereas the Edge plate with an empty moat has a cell count per field of 0–130 cells in the outer wells, in comparison with 130–170 in the inner wells. Thus the Edge plate with a filled moat shows a much more even distribution of cell count per field across the entire plate.

  • Click Image To Enlarge +
    Figure 2. A comparison of overall plate evaporation after four and seven days incubation across a range of plates

    Evaporation from Plates. The overall plate evaporation from six different plate types is shown in Figure 2. The presence of the evaporation buffer zone in the Nunc Edge Plate dramatically reduces the overall plate evaporation to less than 1% after four days incubation, or 2% after seven days incubation, in comparison to more than 8% for the other commercially available plates.

    Effect of Agarose in the Moat. An evaporation buffer zone consisting of 0.5% agarose provides the same low plate evaporation as water, while providing the solidifying effect required to prevent spillages during automation. Both remain below 2% after seven days incubation, in comparison to over 8% observed with a standard 96-well plate (data not shown).

  • Click Image To Enlarge +
    Figure 3. Comparison of poorly focused fields in the Edge Plate and competitor plates

    Field Focusing. When imaging multiple cellular targets in high-content analysis, it is vital that as many fields as possible are properly focused. Figure 3 demonstrates the percentage of poorly focused fields, where focusing was observed to be significantly better with the Edge plate than the other plates.

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