Hardware, X-Y & Level
The MicroQC Plate also has unique features that will allow you to explore the physical alignment of your microplate reader. The MicroQC Plate has precisely machined dimensions that correspond to ANSI/SLAS microplate reader dimensions which allows it to be used as a plate standard for adjusting microplate reader movement systems. Furthermore, the MicroQC Plate has a three axis accelerometer, just like a smart phone, which can be used to determine microplate reader tray attitude. Both X-Y alignment and plate attitude need to be correct for proper microplate reader performance.
The MicroQC Plate chassis conforms exactly to the ANSI/SLAS microplate definition, formerly the SBS microplate definition, to a tolerance of 0.002" (0.05mm). This means the MicroQC Plate is precisely dimensioned and has a the specified skirt or flange that all microplates have, therefore, it can be handled by robotic grippers, stackers, and other microplate handling devices. This means the MicroQC Plate can be easily automated into your workflow for QC, performance evaluations, or validations during your screens - not only before or after your screen.
Each MicroQC Plate has precisely machined corner alignment markers that are centered on ANSI/SLAS 1536 well centers. These markers are fluorescent and can be used with your microplate reader plate optimization software to determine if your microplate reader's X-Y positioning is correct. Wells A1, A48, H1, and H48, are used for the 1536 well alignment checks and most all microplate readers have an optimization wizard that will display a heatmap of corner alignment wells with X-Y adjustment capability. The MicroQC Plate is guaranteed to precisely match ANSI/SLAS specifications and will not change over time, therefore you can be assured your MicroQC Plate alignment standard is correct.
The MicroQC Plate can also be used to check the microplate tray attitude, or more importantly, the microplate attitude inside the reader. Microplate readers are designed so that their optical systems read perpendicular to the surface of the microplate. If this optical alignment isn't correct then results can be compromised. The MicroQC Plate can be inserted into the microplate reader and the microplate attitude will be displayed in 0.1 degree increments. The results are determined with a NIST traceable measurement system so you can be confident in your results.