Low background, high reproducibility: Hard-Shell PCR Plates.

View Now

Learn about 5 key aspects of a PCR plate that are crucial to your results. These tips provide you with the tools to make an informed decision when purchasing PCR plates.

1. Pick the right plate height for your thermal cycler.
  • Most PCR plates are either 20.7 mm high (high-profile) or 15.5 mm high (low-profile)
  • Choose between low-profile and high-profile plates based on your PCR instrument’s requirements. Some instruments have adjustable lids that can be used with either height
  • Using a high-profile plate when the instrument needs a low-profile plate can cause wells to collapse, leading to poor contact with the heating block and insufficient amplification
  • Using a low-profile PCR plate on an instrument that requires a high-profile plate will prevent the lid from applying proper pressure, resulting in sample condensation or evaporation
  • Bio-Rad offers a diverse selection of both high- and low-profile PCR plates
2. Choose the best plate skirt for your needs.
  • Skirted and semi-skirted plates have an outer wall surrounding either the full or half height of the plate
  • Decide which skirt option will meet your needs based on your thermal cycler design
  • If using automation, the PCR plate must have a semi- or full skirt, which provides a surface for the robot to grip
  • Our Hard-Shell PCR Plates are available in semi- and full-skirted options with a rigid frame designed to use with automation platforms
3. Select an appropriate well color.
  • PCR plates come in an array of different well colors to fit a variety of experimental needs
  • Always check your thermal cycler’s requirements prior to purchasing PCR plates, particularly for real-time PCR and other applications that use fluorophores
  • Clear wells — allow the user to visually monitor pipetting from the bottom, sides, or top of the plate, but may allow fluorescence to bleed through from neighboring wells, resulting in skewed fluorescence readings
  • White wells — provide better signal-to-noise ratios due to the opaque wells, which is critical when monitoring fluorescence for low-abundance targets, but monitoring pipetting can be challenging. Adding an inert dye to the sample helps minimize this drawback
  • Hard-Shell PCR Plates are available in white and clear wells
4. Assess your rigidity needs.
  • PCR plates can become twisted or bent (warped) during manufacturing, handling, or thermal cycling. This can lead to inaccurate results
  • Sample evaporation can occur because a warped PCR plate does not seal well
  • PCR plates that can easily warp are not compatible with robotic plate handlers, which require plates to have a predictable conformation for the grippers to work
  • To minimize the chances of your plate twisting or bending during thermal cycling, choose a two-component plate that has a polycarbonate frame and polypropylene wells, which can better withstand temperature changes than single-component polypropylene plates.
  • The rigid frame of two-component plates provides a surface for laboratory robots to grip and hold, enabling accurate movement and alignment of the plate onto the thermal cycler blocks
  • Hard-Shell PCR Plates use a two-component design and provide a robust, rigid frame made of a proprietary polycarbonate resin and polypropylene wells, ensuring that plate dimensions remain consistent during thermal cycling
5. Purchase from a manufacturer you can trust.
  • Expect consistency in the performance of your PCR plates from plate to plate and lot to lot. Rigorous quality control standards are essential for consistently manufacturing high-quality PCR plates
  • Bio-Rad ensures our products are of the highest quality before they arrive at your lab by requiring stringent testing through the manufacturing process
  • Our manufacturing sites are International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 13485 certified and utilize precision injection molding
  • We provide a certificate of analysis (CoA) for every batch of PCR plates, indicating the batch is free from DNAse, RNAse, and human DNA

Find PCR Plates to Fit Your Needs

Bio-Rad offers a wide range of quality PCR plates and consumables to suit various applications, instruments, and preferences.  Visit our PCR Plastics Selector to easily see the products that match your needs.

Still having trouble choosing the best PCR plates for your experiments? Get more details about these five tips for PCR plate selection.

Previous post

Introducing the PTC Tempo Thermal Cycler

Next post

Poly(A) Tails: A Critical Quality Attribute in mRNA-based Therapeutics