What is microwell?


Microwell, often referred to as a microplate or microtiter plate, is a flat plate with multiple 'wells' used as small test tubes. The microwell plate has become a standard tool in analytical research and clinical diagnostic testing laboratories. A very common feature in biology, chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences, these plates are designed to facilitate a high-throughput analysis of multiple samples simultaneously.

Structure and Design

Microwell plates typically come in a standard size of 85.6 mm by 127.6 mm. The number of wells in a plate can vary, with common formats including 96, 384, or 1536 wells. Each well serves as a separate container that can hold anywhere from a few microliters to several milliliters of liquid. These plates are usually made from polystyrene for colorimetric assays and polypropylene for storage of samples.


Microwell plates are used in a variety of applications including drug discovery, bioassays, genetic sequencing, and cell culture. They are particularly useful for experiments requiring multiple conditions or samples, as they allow for parallel analysis, significantly reducing the time and resources needed for experiments.

Types of Microwell Plates

  • Flat-bottom: Ideal for optical measurements.
  • Round-bottom: Better for mixing and recovery of samples.
  • V-bottom: Facilitates sample concentration at the bottom of the well.


Microwell plates offer several advantages including the ability to perform high-throughput screening, minimal use of reagents, and the capability to automate many laboratory processes. Their standardized format allows for the use of automated equipment and software to rapidly analyze large numbers of samples.

Common Microwell Plate Formats

Format Number of Wells Typical Volume per Well
96-well 96 100-200 µL
384-well 384 20-80 µL
1536-well 1536 1-10 µL

In summary, microwell plates are a crucial tool in the fields of research and diagnostics, enabling efficient and high-throughput analysis of a wide range of samples. Their versatility and compatibility with automated systems make them indispensable in modern laboratories.

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