You may be unaware of microplate readers, but they have most probably helped you before. During the pandemic, they were the first tool that enabled doctors to identify the coronavirus inside infected patient, and in a very short amount of time (less than 30 minutes).
Nowadays, they help researchers in many different fields. Here is a look at this technology found in laboratories worldwide.
What is a Microplate Reader?
In a laboratory, the microplate reader is used to measure chemical, biological or physical reactions. Through its optical system, doctors and researchers can detect the presence of analytes or the progression of biochemical processes. This unique machine can measure almost 3,500 samples in a matter of minutes. Once the professional possesses the data, he can use them for prevention, diagnosis or treatment, in the field that it is being used for. It includes, oncology, molecular biology and many more. In this industry, BMG Labtech is a world leader, as they use their microplate readers in laboratories worldwide.
Cancer and Oncology
Cancer is a disease that still requires research, if we want to be able to find cures for all of its varieties. Researchers can diagnose patients through the use of a multimode microplate reader, which can perform many tests at once. From the results, doctors can decide on which treatment to suggest to patients. Afterwards, it is possible to continue monitoring the mutation of the cancer, in order to adapt the medication accordingly to the latest developments.
Our immune system helps us fight infections. Without this protective barrier, we would not survive for long. The study of immunology helps researchers understand why the immune system doesn’t work properly inside some people, causing them to suffer from diseases that range from allergies to cancers. Microplate readers have helped the scientific community to come up with new ways to treat health issues, by creating vaccines or to discover new treatments such as cancer immunotherapies.
Production Quality Control
There are many products that we ingest that need to be controlled, in order to make sure that we don’t find ourselves contaminated with microbes and toxins. It is the case with food, but also with water, drugs and medicine. Quality control is of outmost importance to our health, and a microplate reader can help detect these contaminants and other impurities that may find their way into the production chain. They are used to test DNA purity or to detect endotoxins, as one of their many tasks in regards to the safety of people.
Our society as seen first-hand how a virus can cause serious damage, with the coronavirus pandemic. They can affect animals and our environment as well. But as much as they can be damageable, they can also help in research, in order to protect ourselves from them. Microplate readers were at the forefront on the war against COVID-19. They have helped us identify patients infected with the virus, but they were also used in the race to find a cure, through vaccines. Now, they are still being used to find ways to protect ourselves against another pandemic, in the future