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Clear vs. white ELISpot plates?


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I am interested in pre-coated ELISpot plus kits for human IFN-g. I have noted in your web shop that these kits are available with either clear or white plates. Are there any significant differences between these two plates types, i.e. are there any specific situations where one is preferred over the other? Thanks in advance.




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White and clear ELISpot plates are manufactured by Millipore using the same type of PVDF membrane. Accordingly, there is no difference in "experimental environment" once your cells have been added into your plate and incubated. Instead, the selection you make very much comes down to personal preference and details in how each plate type looks in your specific reader.



What do I mean by personal preference? Well, many users report that they prefer the clear ELISpot plates because they are easier to pipette; i.e. with wells being transparent, it is easier to judge which row has received 50 ul of cell culture medium and which has not during seeding. 



At the same time, the letters and numbers (indicating rows and columns) molded into the side of each ELISpot plate are in my view much easier to read using white ELISpot plates. In fact, I actually prefer white plates as I started off doing ELISpot with these and have with time learned to quickly distinguish the amount of liquid in each well based on the surface-reflections against the inner wall. Thus, to me, there is no benefit in pipetting into a clear plate compared to white one. Others would not agree.



Finally, there are some real differences between white and clear ELISpot plates when it comes to analyzing them in readers. With all settings being equal (exposure, brightness and so on), plates will look "different" simply due to differences in how the way light is reflected inside the well. Now these differences will in no way affect the number of spots being counted, It is simply that wells will have a different tone in color and saturation compared to the other. Consequently, you often use different reader settings for each plate type to compensate for these differences. However, despite doing so, it is pretty much impossible to make them look exactly the same.   



To demonstrate how these two plate models can look in real use I have attached a powerpoint file containing IFN-g spots that have been generated by two different donors in two different plates: one transparent and one white. The reader that was used to capture these images is called the AID Spectrum. Now, you cannot compare the spots numbers between these two wells since they come from two different donors but you can get a sense for how each well looks "different" in saturation and tone when using either clear or white ELISpot plates. 






I hope this helps!



best regards,


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