Endy:Victor3 plate variation

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96 well plates with transparent bases cost ~$4 each. It would be desirable to reuse plates if possible. It was unclear if washing plates (bleach, followed by ethanol) led to unacceptable variation in readings.


The GFP and absorbance at 600nm of every well on a new and a used plate that had been washed were measured. The wells were empty.


Histograms of the GFP readings for each plate are shown below. Absorbance readings are not shown but showed similar trends to the GFP readings.

New plate
Old plate


  • The washed plate has a higher average background reading.
  • The washed plate actually has a tighter distribution of readings.
  • For most applications, washed plates are perfectly acceptable.