Absorbance Single-Mode Microplate Readers

Absorbance detection technology

Absorbance single-mode microplate readers can be used for many research applications including ELISA, DNA and protein quantification, and enzyme activity. They are commonly used in a variety of bioresearch and quality control settings.

How does absorbance detection work?
Absorbance single-mode microplate readers measure how much light is absorbed by a sample. Microplate readers that are capable of detecting light in the ultraviolet (UV) range can be used to determine the concentration of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) or protein directly, without the need for sample labeling. Light of a certain wavelength, dependent on the material being measured, is passed through a sample, and a detector on the other side of the microplate well measures how much of the original light was absorbed by the sample in the well.
How does an ELISA plate reader work?
An ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, is a method used to quantitatively detect an antigen within a sample. Most ELISAs are run in microplates, with the bottom of the microplate wells serving as the solid surface to which an antigen of interest attaches, either directly or via an antibody. An enzyme conjugate, which reacts with substrate to produce a colored solution, is used to detect the antigen. A microplate washer is used to wash away non-specific, unbound material in the wells, and a microplate reader―often referred to as an ELISA plate reader―detects the color change produced when target antigen is present.
What's the difference between a spectrophotometer and an absorbance microplate reader?
A standard spectrophotometer measures absorbance one sample at a time. The sample is typically placed in a cuvette through which light is sent horizontally. The SpectrtaMax® QuickDrop Micro-Volume Absorbance Spectrophotometer measures samples as small as 0.5 uL without a cuvette. An absorbance microplate reader offers higher throughput and can measure the absorbance of samples in microplates, typically 96-well or even 384-well, by sending light through each well vertically.

Absorbance measurement applications and research

Find an extensive collection of application notes, research, and technology related to absorbance plate reader assays and applications.

  • Bacterial Identification
  • Bradford, BCA Protein Assay
  • B-galacosidase (Beta GAL)
  • Colorimetric Protein
  • Cytoproliferation
  • Cytotoxicity Assays
  • DNA/RNA/Protein Quantitation
  • ELISA (HRP, TMB, AP, etc.)
  • Diphenylamine DNA (DISHE)
  • Drug Dissolution Profiles
  • Endpoint ELISAs/EIA
  • Enzyme Kinetics (e.g.,Ki,Km)
  • IC50/LD50
  • Immunoassays
  • Kinetic ELISAs/Enzyme Assays
  • Lowry
  • Microbial Growth/MIC
  • MTT & XTT Cell Viability Assay
More Application notes

SpectraMax ABS/ABS Plus Microplate Readers

Fast absorbance detection for a wide range of assays without the use of filters

  • Compact design
  • 96- or 384-well microplate compatibility
  • Eight-channel optics for fast reads
  • Pipetting errors eliminated with patented PathCheck® Sensor to measure the optical pathlength of samples in a microplate
  • Validation and compliance tools
Learn more

Customer Breakthroughs

Université Catholique de Louvain uses our SpectraMax absorbance and multi-mode readers to help fight biofilms.

Learn more

Ready to get started?

We are ready to help you solve your tough research challenges. Our proven solutions and highly qualified teams across the globe can help advance your next big discovery.