BioTek | Frequently Asked Questions

First run the Absorbance Test Plate and, in addition to the software calculated OD values, manually calculate the value over 2.500 OD for the wavelength of interest. Next run a liquid test where the higher values are closer to the sample values that you want to use. The accuracy of the lower values can be checked against the Absorbance Test Plate values and the accuracy/linearity for higher OD values can be extrapolated based on the curve fit of the test dye intercept at zero OD.

The instrument has a range of operation from 0.000 to 4.000 OD, but the specifications for accuracy, linearity and reproducibility only go to 2.500 OD. The range allows the user to make measurements above 2.500 OD and roughly determine how much the sample needs to be diluted if a very accurate value is required. The accuracy of values over 2.500 OD is limited as described below. (Note that some cuvette based spectrophotometers are only specified for accuracy to 1.0 OD, but can read up to 5.0 OD.)

Microplate readers, like many other optical electronic instruments, have varying accuracy, repeatability, and linearity specifications that must become less stringent as higher OD values are approached. This is due to the nature of the reader’s optical and electronic sensing circuits. Assuming that a typical instrument is capable of parsing or dividing the dynamic signal range into exactly 60,000 “counts” then the following holds true:

0 OD is 100% light (60,000 counts of signal),
1 OD is 10% light (6,000 counts of signal),
2 OD is 1% light (600 counts of signal),
3 OD is 0.1% light (60 counts of signal), and
4 OD is down to 0.01% of full light (6 counts of signal).

Thus at very high ODs a variation of 0.1 OD is only a count of signal or less. This and other factors (such as bulb strength, ambient blocking etc.) do not allow the readers to always have the best results above a specific value. Samples that are very dark should be diluted in order to obtain the most accurate results.

Each laboratory must determine how accurate the results must be for the use of higher ODs. See FAQ “How can we verify that the measurements above the OD accuracy, linearity and repeatability specification are acceptable for our lab?”

The ELx800 and ELx808 microplate readers are compatible with parallel printers. Today, most printers are equipped only with USB ports. BioTek's readers cannot be directly linked to a printer USB port.
However, BioTek readers can be compatible to USB printers by using an LPT-USB adapter, such as the BioTek accessory p/n 75135. This adapter can also be purchased directly from the manufacturer, AK-Nord: http://www.ak-nord.de/ak/product_info.php?products_id=44 or other resellers.

There are several other HP printer models that can be compatible via this adapter. The key criteria is that the HP printer must support one of these HP printer languages:

* HP PCL3
* PCL 3e (enhanced)
* PCL 3 HPA

Because HP printer model numbers and availability vary by geographic region, it's best to confirm that the desired printer uses one of these three languages in order to be compatible with the HP printer output of the ELx800 and ELx808 readers.

5 years is typical – usage dependent
Using the Corning 3635 and similar UV transmissable microplates, the minimum volume is 100 µL. Using the Corning 3679 half area microplates, the minimum volume is 50 µL. Using 384-well UV microplates, the minimum volume is 25 µL. For the most accurate readings, we recommend 200, 100, and 50 µL or more respectively.
A blank is required on the plate when quantitating DNA at 260 nm. The blank well should contain the same buffer, usually deionized water, contained in the sample wells.

A blank is not required if using a blank plate which is subtracted from the assay plate. However, a blank well or two on the assay plate is usually sufficient.
If the temperature of the lab varies by more than a few degrees, using the 1 cm Bio-Cell cuvette for pathlength correction instead of the imbedded value adjusts for temperature variations.

For nonaqueous solutions, the Bio-Cell can provide a 1 cm reference value for pathlength correction. However, the user should be careful that the peak wavelength for the nonaqueous buffer solution does not overlap with the peak wavelength of the analyte.
Yes. 998 nm provides a correction wavelength that is not temperature sensitive. However, 998 nm is less sensitive in DNA quantitation than 977 nm.

Check that the following are used

1. 260 nm
2. UV transmissable plates with no fingerprints on the bottom
3. At least the minimum volume
4. Pathlength correction
5. 977 and 900 nm
6. Blank on the plate
7. Extinction coefficient of 50 is entered into the transformation spreadsheet

If the results are still not good enough, increase the volume to double the minimum

Light scattering in the 600-660 nm range can be used to evaluate and monitor cell density. A temperature control system is required. Shaking is used to keep the cells in suspension. BioTek's readers are designed to support long kinetic runs (24, 48 hours or more) with continuous read and shake cycles.
Top reading usually provides better signal-to-noise ratios for solution-based assays such as DNA or protein quantification. Bottom reading should provide better results when working with adherent cells, on assays such as GFP gene expression. If in doubt, you can run both Top and Bottom measurements in the same protocol and compare the results to make your final choice.

These instruments can be used for luminescence experiments if they are set up properly:

1. Turn off the instrument and remove the excitation filter wheel.
2. Replace one of the filters in the excitation wheel with a black plug (at least one should have come with your instrument).
3. Write down which position of the excitation filter wheel has the plug.
4. Return the excitation filter wheel to the instrument.
5. Remove the emission filter wheel.
6. Remove the filter in the emission filter wheel in position 1, position 4 is the second best choice (NOT position 2 or 3).
7. Write down which position of the emission filter wheel has the hole (empty position).
8. Return the emission filter wheel to the instrument.
9. Close the door and turn on the power on the instrument.
10. In Gen5 go to System/Reader Configuration, highlight your reader and click "view/modify," click "setup" then go to the "fluoresecence/luminescence" tab.
112. In the excitation wheel table, choose plug for the position with the plug.
12. In the emission wheel table, choose hole for the position with the hole.
13. Click "Send wavelengths."
14. In your Read step in the protocol, select Luminescence for the detection and the plug and hole will be chosen automatically.
15. The sensitivity for a luminescence experiment is typically in the range of 100-255. Sample readings should be > 5000 RLU.

Monochromators allow free wavelength selection, resulting in flexibility for your research. Filters are more optically efficient and will give you the best performance. Need both flexibility and advanced performance? Try one of our patented Hybrid readers.
485/20 means 485 +/- 10 nm. So the total band pass is 20 nm and the filter will allow light between 475 nm and 495 nm to go through
Both Corning-Costar and Greiner Bio-One offer disposable 96- and 384-well plates, specifically designed for low UV application. Since most plastic microplates have a very high absorbance when reading in the UV range (below 300 nm), quartz microplates can be used. Corning-Costar has introduced a plastic UV microplate (#3635 in their catalog), for reading absorbance of samples in the UV range. This plate has almost no background in the UV range, and therefore is ideal for reading absorbance of samples in this range.
* Use the Optics position bottom setting.
* If possible, use plates whose bottom plastic has been optimized for bottom reading using fluorescence and match with the correct plate in the database.
* Scale to high well helps to rapidly find the optimum PMT voltage for your assay.
* Choose the appropriate filters and make sure the bandpasses are not too close or the software will provide a warning.
* Read using the default settings under Options although 100 reads could provide better CVs.
* If exciting-detecting at 485/20-528/20, remove phenol red from any media.
* Cover the plate if sterility needs to be maintained.
* BioTek's large optical bottom probe and high quality filters provide excellent signal to noise data for cellular assays.
For the best fluorescence and luminescence results, make sure that you use the full dynamic range of the instrument. The easiest way to do this is to “scale to high well” if you have a known positive control or “high standard” on your plate. Most of our readers have a maximum of 99,999 counts, so a good target for the high well is 80,000. This will give a little room if there are other wells with more signal. If you find that many wells are overranging, you can reduce the target value. After performing the read this way, look at the signal in your blank wells. Good blank readings should be less than 500 RLU in luminescence and less than 10,000 RFU in fluorescence. Adjust your sensitivity down to lower the blank readings.
Yes! Multiple adapters are available and allow you to read PCR plates from the top or from the bottom, with or without caps. P/N 6002072 is a PCR tube holder designed to fit MS Research tubes P/N MSP-9601. P/N 6002076 is a 96-well PCR microplate holder designed to fit MS Research plate P/N MLP-9601 and Nunc plate P/N 259676.
The ELx808 and PowerWave 340 readers are designed with 8 optical channels, designed to read 96-well plates only. The equivalent single-channel readers are the ELx800 and PowerWave XS. These readers, as well as BioTek’s Synergy 2 and Synergy 4 Multi-Mode Readers can read plates from 6- to 1536-wells, depending on the configuration.
All of BioTek’s absorbance filters have a 10nm bandpass. The bandpass is the total range of light that can pass through the filter, centered around the filter value. For example, if the filter is a 540nm filter with a 10nm bandpass, the spectral range of this filter is from 535nm to 545nm. On the other hand, BioTek’s fluorescence filters can have varying bandpasses. Filter values are written in the form “center value/bandpass”, i.e. 485/20 or 600/40. This means that for a filter with a center value of 485 and a bandpass of 20 (485/20), the spectral range of this filter is 475nm to 495nm..
* All models of ELx800, ELx808, Eon, FLx800, PowerWave, and Synergy 2 will be compliant on or before 22 July 2014.
* All other BioTek products will be compliant on or before 22 July 2016.
If you turn off the unit at night, the life of the tungsten halogen lamp will extend because the lamp will not be powered. If you have Gen5 software, you can also turn off the lamp while leaving the unit powered on. This would also extend the lamp life. When the Synergy HT is powered on again, the tungsten lamp will not come on until you request a fluorescence read. When the read is requested, the tungsten lamp requires a 3 minute warmup. If you are using Gen5 software, the tungsten lamp can be powered ahead of time so that it is ready for reading a plate without waiting for warmup. After the lamp has been powered, it will stay on until it is turned off or the reader itself is powered off. Note that the xenon flash lamp used for absorbance and time resolved fluorescence flashes only as needed and requires neither warm up nor power off and its life depends strictly on how many plates are read and the flashes used to read each well.


Before calling or e-mailing to our service department (service@biospx.com), please collect the following information:

Serial number of the instrument. It is stamped onto a metal tag located either on the side or the back of most instruments (on the front inside door of the FLx800). The serial number will allow us to see exactly what instrument you have and with what options. We can also look up the instrument’s history, warranty and service contract information.

If you use a computer to drive the instrument: operating system , type and version of BioTek's software (can be found in the software menu, in the ''About...'' sub-menu).

Exact error codes you are experiencing and when they occur (upon startup, when you start a run, etc.).

a) To prevent damage to the reader or PC, always turn OFF the reader or the PC before removing or inserting a serial cable.

b) Reader controlling software and reader communication parameters will supersede the Windows settings. Windows serial port configuration settings should not need adjustment to enable proper communications. If you are using a USB cable or USB/serial adapter, you must install the proper USB driver. The USB connection will show up as a COM port in Windows Device Manager.

PC won’t communicate with reader:

1) Confirm that the instrument is at the main menu if it has a keypad/display. If there is an error upon startup, press “stop”, record the error code and press “main menu”. If there is no keypad and the instrument errors upon startup, press the in/out button to stop the chirping before attempting to establish communication.

2) Confirm that the cable is properly attached to the port selected in the software. You can use Microsoft Windows Device Manager to verify the COM port (e.g. COM 1).

3) Confirm that the serial cable and/or USB-serial adapter was obtained from BioTek. Serial cables and USB adapters are not all identical. Contact BioTek customer care to purchase a factory tested cable. After installing a known good cable, reboot the PC, then the reader, then launch the software. Test communication.

4) Confirm that Baud rate is set to 9600 in both the software and the reader. For readers with keypads, confirm the Baud rate under the utilities-setup menu (see Operator’s manual). Reboot the PC, then the reader, then launch the software. Test communication.

5) If steps 1-4 do not resolve the problem, uninstall the suspected COM port from device manager. Reboot the computer to reinstall the COM port.

6) If the reader fails to communicate, and steps 1-5 do not resolve the problem, test the reader on a different PC to confirm which device is at fault. Please contact BioTek if the reader is diagnosed to be faulty.

Your Universal Test Plate comes with a tri-fold paper listing absorbance values at different wavelengths for your plate. (example below) These will be referred to as the "target" values.




For Accuracy measurements, the measurement on your instrument has to lie within specified limits of your target value for that wavelength as follows:

(Target – error) < measurement < (Target + error)

Where error = 1% + 0.01 + instrument specification

The instrument specification is found in the "Specifications" section of your Operator's Manual. It depends on factors such as the read type and plate type and OD of the measurement.

Example: For a Synergy HT, the accuracy specification according to the Operator's Manual in the range of 0.000-2.000 OD for a normal-mode read of a 96-well plate is + 1% + 0.010 OD The total error in this case will be + 2% + 0.020 (the sum of the errors of the instrument and the plate). The target value (from the trifold plate insert) is 0.149 for this example, so the error would be (0.149* 2%) + 0.020 = 0.023.

The passing range would be 0.149 + 0.023, or 0.126 < measurement < 0.172

For Repeatability measurements, you do not use the target value listed on the sheet that came with the plate. For these calculations, the reference is the first reading you make compared to a subsequent reading based on the specifications of your instrument.

Example: For a Synergy HT, the repeatability specification according to the Operator's Manual for a normal-mode read of a 96-well plate in the range of 2.00-3.00 OD is + 3% + 0.005.

For a first read of 2.676, the error would be (2.676 * 3%) + 0.005 = 0.085. The second reading must lie in the range of 2.676 + 0.085, or 2.591 < second measurement < 2.761

Depending on the instrument you have, you may have to perform performance tests more often than others. BioTek offers Instrument Validation Packages for our instruments, which will act as a guide and record keeper for these types of tests. For our absorbance and fluorescent readers, we also offer Calibration Test Plates, which will also aid in the performance verification.
500 ng/well or 2.5 µg/mL using absorbance using 260 nm. Using Hoechst dye for fluorescence will be almost 1000 times more sensitive and Picogreen will be 100,000 times more sensitive.
For current models, Operator's manuals can be obtained via our service department.
Documents outlining the MSDS for BioTek Blue and Yellow Dye Solutions can be obtained via our service department.
To connect a BioTek instrument to a computer via a USB port, use an RS232 to USB adapter. For convenience, a recommended adapter (P/N 75104) can be ordered directly from BioTek. The driver provided with the adapter (on CD) should be installed. This allows the USB connection to emulate a COM port.
Package the filters in a light-tight envelope or container, away from high humidity. This will ensure the longest life for the filters. When handling the filters, keep the surfaces clean from fingerprints and debris by simply wiping with a lens tissue or other lint free cloth
Typically our readers measure a single point in the center of each well. Using Gen5 software, an area scan (a grid pattern of multiple measurements in a single well) can be made for larger well diameters of the 6- to 48-well plates. Both the individual measurements and the average for the entire well are reported.
In most cases, it takes at least 20 minutes for reagents in the wells to go from room temperature to 37ºC once inside the microplate reader; even longer if some reagents came right out of the refrigerator. Keep this in mind when designing your experiments: pre-incubating the plate prior to reading it can help control your experimental parameters during the reading process.
10 measurements per data point (average) and a 350 ms settling time after each plate movement (before each well is read). For assays where reading speed is critical, reducing these parameters to 1 measurement per data point and a 10 ms settling delay will save more than 30 seconds on a 96-well plate.
Using the BioStack Microplate Stacker's optional barcode scanner, high throughput hit picking applications with the Precision XS Microplate Sample Processor can now be entirely automated. Precision Power software uses the scanned IDs to automatically browse its list of Unprocessed Maps, identify wells of interest and assemble a To Do List with unattended operation. No longer is it a requirement for users to ensure their plates are arranged in the BioStack in the exact order of their Maps.
es, these are available for the Precision! With BioTek's environmentally friendly design, users benefit from cost savings of $0.05 / tip using the same tips with which BioTek guarantees optimal dispense performance. Refillable pipette tips are packaged in a low waste and less expensive format and enable the same Precision Power software specification files to be used as standard tip formats. New users will undoubtedly find BioTek's refills very easy to use and appreciate the significant cost savings.
Choosing the right microplate for your assay is critical. Absorbance plates can be UV-transparent or not; Fluorescence plates, typically solid black or black with clear bottom, may produce a significant amount of background (auto-fluorescence) depending on quality; Luminescence plates, typically solid white, can exhibit high cross-talk levels depending on quality.
Some assays require lids to remain on the plates, and significant condensation can collect on the lid, such as over a long-term kinetic run, obscuring the measurement. You can compensate for condensation build-up simply by using a dual wavelength measurement.

There are several options you should consider when having your plates recertified:

* Standard recertification includes the following wavelengths and has a 10-business day turnaround time: 405, 450, 490, 550, 620, 630, 690, and 750 nm.
* Additional wavelengths - for customers working at wavelengths not listed above.
* Precertification data or "as received" data – required by some regulatory bodies.
* Expedited service (2-business day turnaround).

Please contact our service department to receive an RMA and pricing for your test plate.

The MicroFill, a syringe pump based dispenser, will deliver 750 µL in 29 seconds. The MicroFlo Select, a peristaltic pump based dispenser, will deliver 750 µL in 63 seconds with a 5 µL cassette installed. With a 10 µL cassette installed, the MicroFlo's pump spins less frequently and will deliver this volume in 56 seconds.
We have a stylus kit available for manually cleaning the ELx405 manifolds. This kit will contain 2 stylus', one for each manifold. The kit part number is 7100025 and can be ordered through our sales department. Additionally, the ELx405 Operator's Manual contains guidelines for keeping the instrument running as expected. There is also information there regarding the use of protein rich reagents and the use of an enzymatic detergent for cleaning the instrument. The Preventative Maintenance chapter also discusses built in maintenance programs that should be run on a periodic basis. These are BioTek's basic recommendations and can be adjusted as necessary if you find that your use of the instrument requires more frequent maintenance.
Yes, When using BioTek's ELx50 Microplate Strip Washer for bottom aspiration of partial plates, you must seal the unused strips to guarantee efficient vacuum filtration. Plate seals, storage mats or even parafilm can be used to seal the plate.

For biomagnetic separation washing applications such Luminex xMAP bead based assays, several interchangeable, high strength magnet designs are available for the ELx50, ELx405 and EL406 Washers. It is recommended customers work with their BioTek Representative to evaluate the different designs for optimal assay performance.

96- and 384-well Flat Magnets

* Flat-bottom well - beads immobilized in flat band across well bottom
* Round-bottom well - beads pulled to button at well bottom
Note: ~30 µL residual in 96-well plates recommended for best bead recovery.

96- and 384-well Ring Magnets

* Flat-, round-, v-bottom well - beads immobilized in 4-zone ring at well bottom
Note: Enables full well evacuation (residuals <5 µL in 96-well plates). Horizontal dispense offset recommended to properly resuspend beads during dispense cycles.

Yes, there are multiple ways to accomplish this. The new 405 Touch enables simple and fast protocol transfer with easily accessible USB flash drive ports. With a few prompts through the touch screen UI, any number of protocols can be quickly uploaded from one 405 and moved to the next for immediate or future washing needs. Another option is for washers and dispensers compatible with LHC. Here, you can connect the instrument to LHC and transfer protocols back and forth.
For 384-well washing with 4L Waste Bottles and buffers not containing surfactant, BioTek offers a 96-Tube Dual-Action Tube-in-Tube Aspiration Manifold P/N 1172046S. Otherwise, for other models or larger waste bottles, the High Flow Vacuum Pump System P/N 7100754 is recommended.
AutoPrime is a feature on the EL406, ELx405, ELx50 and MicroFill liquid handlers. By periodically priming the system at a set interval (10-600 minutes), you ensure that the system stays primed and ready to be used at all times. To enable (or disable) AutoPrime, go to UTIL: AUTPRM (or AUTOPRIME): YES (or NO). If you have an ELx405 equipped with the optional buffer switching module, the AutoPrime routine will use the last valve used in your wash protocol. The AutoPrime parameters (such as the interval and prime volume) can be set from DEFINE: EDIT: PRIME: AUTOPRIME. AutoPrime is not recommended for long time intervals (overnight). With the ELx405 and ELx50, an OVERNIGHT_LOOP or RINSE_AND_SOAK would be more appropriate. Please refer to your Operator’s Manual in the Preventative Maintenance section for more details on these maintenance programs.
For most applications, weak acids and bases can be used. For strong acids and bases such as Sufuric acid or NaOH, solutions that are less than 1 N will not effect the tubing or other components of the washers. However, the tubing may not be able to withstand high concentrations of acids and bases.
At a minimum, 1 CFM at 10-20 in Hg. We recommend 2.5-3 CFM at 10 inches Hg or (metric) 16.6 liters per minute at 661 mbar or better.
Yes, there are certain chemicals that may have a damaging effect on some parts of a liquid handler. Consult the Chemical Compatibility section in your Operator’s Manual for more information.
Solutions such as bovine serum albumin (BSA) which contain proteins will compromise your microplate washer performance over time. We recommend rinsing the system daily with an enzyme detergent solution followed by deionized water. On a weekly or monthly basis, flush with 0.1-0.5N sodium hydroxide (NaOH), followed by neutralization with an equivalent normality (0.1-0.5N) of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Rinse with deionized water to remove the HCl. These procedures are outlined in the Preventative Maintenance section of your Operator’s Manual. If you don't have a copy of your manual, you can access a PDF file via our service department.
Users find that diligent sterilization of a new instrument’s fluid path from the first days of use will provide continued contamination-free performance. Bacteria multiply rapidly in solutions containing proteins (serum) and sugars. Although the ELx405 washers are not autoclavable, we recommend a 0.5% bleach (for protein-containing solutions) or a 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solution. Running the instrument’s pre-programmed "Overnight Loop" maintenance protocol will completely automate an overnight process.
You have AutoPrime™ enabled.
AutoPrime is a feature on the EL406, ELx405, ELx50 and MicroFill liquid handlers. By periodically priming the system at a set interval (10-600 minutes), you ensure that the system stays primed and ready to be used at all times. To enable (or disable) AutoPrime, go to UTIL: AUTPRM (or AUTOPRIME): YES (or NO). If you have an ELx405 equipped with the optional buffer switching module, the AutoPrime routine will use the last valve used in your wash protocol. The AutoPrime parameters (such as the interval and prime volume) can be set from DEFINE: EDIT: PRIME: AUTOPRIME. AutoPrime is not recommended for long time intervals (overnight). With the ELx405 and ELx50, an OVERNIGHT_LOOP or RINSE_AND_SOAK would be more appropriate. Please refer to your Operator’s Manual in the Preventative Maintenance section for more details on these maintenance programs
Yes, BioTek offers a labware holder for Millipore’s Vacuum Manifold for Sequencing Reaction Kits Montage SEQ96 and SEQ384. This provides a cost-effective and reproducible alternative to manually dispensing reagents and transferring products to and from the Montage SEQ96 and SEQ384 plates
O-rings on the Precision Microplate Pipetting System should be replaced at least every six months for continued dispense accuracy and precision. A pre-programmed maintenance protocol within Precision Power software may be used to periodically verify the pipette o-rings’ performance
Yes, BioStack 4 can be controlled through the touch screen interfaces for operations with both lidded and non-lidded plates.
Lidded and/or tall plates require the tall/lidded plate stacks, p/n 1230003 or 1230004) to be used with BioStack 4.
Yes, BioStack 4 can be controlled by Gen5 v2.04 for non-lidded plates only.
To work with lidded plates in Gen5, Gen5 v2.05 is required.
Yes, the standard stacks can be used with BioStack 4 for non-lidded plates only.
Lidded plate handling and 12- or 24-well plate handling requires the use of the tall/lidded plate stacks(p/n 1230003 or 1230004)
Yes, BioStack 4 can be operated via the keypad for handling non-lidded plates only.
Lidded plate handling requires the use of LHC2 (v2.16.9) with keypad instruments.
OVRFLW means that the reading was outside of the dynamic range. This can occur as a result of an absorbance, fluorescence or luminescence read. Please refer to your instrument's specifications to determine the corresponding dynamic range for the measurement type.
Overflow may be corrected by decreasing the concentration in the well through dilution. For fluorescence and luminescence reads, lowering the gain value may result in an RFU or RLU value that is within the dynamic range. It is also possible to let Gen5 determine the optimal gain setting for your plate by choosing an Automatic Gain Adjustment option.
You can use either the Gen5 file originally sent with your reader (on CD or USB) or get the latest Gen5 update from our service department.
Registering your new installation will require your Gen5 serial number. This can be found on the CD or USB case received with your reader or can be found on your original Gen5 installation on the old computer. To retrieve the serial number from Gen5, simply go to the System Menu --> Help --> About Gen5.
Depending on your Gen5 package, the number of licenses may vary. If you have any questions about available licenses or if you need a Gen5 password, please contact our service department.
Gen5 v1 and v 2 are available through our Sales Department. Updates within the same version are available at no charge (v1.xx to v 1.xx or v 2.xx to v 2.xx).

A 30 days demo version of Gen5 is available from the download section of this website.
This function, found under Procedure > Options, allows programming a kinetic run that can be interrupted and resumed at any time. In the case of long kinetic experiments, or kinetic experiments with long reading intervals, this feature allows the reader to be available for other uses between kinetic measurements. This function can also be used if a kinetic assay needs to be interrupted at an unspecified time in the process, for adding a reagent for example, and then resumed.
You can easily import data in Gen5 using the Windows copy / paste function. In Gen5 2.0, set the drop down menu at the bottom right of the screen to “Enter Manually” and hit the green "Read" button. You can then copy a matrix of data coming from Excel or another Gen5 file with one click. Simply select the entire data matrix in Gen5 (click and drag across the matrix), then right click and select “Paste”
When your lab is required to be 21 CFR Part 11 compliant, BioTek offers PC software that provides compliant features. Gen5 Secure controls the BioTek microplate readers, while LHC Secure controls BioTek washers and dispensers. Both software packages meet the security and audit requirements of 21 CFR Part 11 to aid in your laboratory’s compliance programs
In Gen5, go to System > Instrument Control and (1) go to the Pre-heating tab to set a temperature and turn the incubator on or (2) go to the Tungsten Lamp tab to turn the lamp on. Performing these steps a few minutes before reading your plate will prevent any delays and ensure optimized conditions for your experiment.
You can import text files as raw data for absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence and you can import grayscale TIFF images as well. Please note that the latter is available only on Gen5 versions compatible with the Cytation3. For the details on proper file formats for importing, go to Gen5’s Help section.
Gen5 v1 and v2 installation files are available through the download section of this website You need a valid licence of Gen5. Version 1.11 of Gen5 is available as well. You need this version when you upgrade to Windows7 and/or Office 2010 or higher.
Gen5: The pre-registration screen will appear when you launch Gen5 until the software is registered. Click on “register” and follow the onscreen directions to register and receive your password. If your computer does not have an internet connection, email your Gen5 serial number and site key to password@biotek.com to receive a new password.
For all other software or if you are having problems with your password or registration, please contact password@biotek.com.
The Gen5 Diagnostics Utility is a program that allows Absorbance Test Plate tests and data calculations to be performed automatically by Gen5, and produces a printed report and archive of the Absorbance Test Plate results. The Gen5 Diagnostics Utility makes testing with the Absorbance Test Plate more convenient and automatic when Gen5 is used to control the reader. It is possible to use the Absorbance Test Plate without the Gen5 Diagnostics Utility by following the instructions on the Absorbance Test Plate data sheet and either exporting the data to a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet (from within Gen5) and defining calculations, or by manually calculating the data.

You can import a text file of “matrix” data (formatted like an 8 x 12 plate, for example) into Gen5 by using the following directions:

1.Before importing a text file, create a protocol and set up an experiment that specifies the exact number of reads that will be imported.
2. Ensure that the delimiters for the text file are the same as those in the Gen5 "System:Preferences:Read From File" settings. The text file format for a semicolon delimited endpoint measurement should look similar to this:




3. Start a new Gen5 Experiment using the protocol designed in Step 1, and click on “Read plate,” choose “Read from File” and browse to find the stored *.txt file to import.
Refer to Gen5’s Help System for information about other importable file formats. Search on “Import Data."

First, generate an a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet template in the protocol. From the Gen5 experiment window, go to Protocol: PowerExportBuilder. This will launch Excel within the Gen5 experiment. Note that there is a PowerExport toolbar containing buttons to select Protocol Summary, Field Group, Matrix and Table. Choose the data you’d like to export from these menus and the placement of the data objects in the worksheet. Below is an example of a PowerExport template with a table that will contain the well IDs and the OD values for a reading at 405 nm. To delete items from the template, highlight the cells and click the red "x" next to the Close button. Then close a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet (using the Close button) to save the template in the Gen5 protocol and return to Gen5



After the plate is read, in Gen5 go to Plate: PowerExport to export the data into Excel. It is possible to have the data automatically exported every time a plate is read in the experiment. (Go to Protocol: Protocol Options: Auto-Output Options and choose "Execute PowerExport").

There is more information about using PowerExports in the Gen5 Help system, as well as a tutorial called “Learn about PowerExport” accessible from the Gen5 startup screen or from the Help menu.
Gen5 Secure and Gen5 allow control of two BioTek microplate readers at a time. Gen5 ELISA, Gen5CL and Gen5RC allow control of only one reader at a time.

For example, if you own a µQuant Microplate Spectrophotometer and an FLx800 Fluorescence Reader, you can configure each in Gen5 and run either reader, or you can open two sessions of Gen5 and use both readers simultaneously! This is convenient especially when one reader is running a kinetic assay - no need to wait until the run is complete to run a different assay with the second reader. Any two current BioTek microplate readers can be connected to Gen5 to make a powerful data collection and analysis workstation.
Yes. The purchase of Gen5 allows installation of the software on up to 5 different computers. When Gen5 is installed on a computer that is not connected to the plate reader, you should set the "System:Reader Configuration" as though your exact model BioTek plate reader were attached. You will receive communication error messages because there is no instrument connected, but can cancel out of these and proceed to set up new protocols and analyze data collected on another computer. You will not have the ability to validate steps that require a reader (such as “minimum interval” setting in a kinetic read), but otherwise, the software is fully functional.
BioTek has several instruments that come with integrated USB ports and drivers. BioTek also stocks an RS-232 USB adapter, p/n 75104, to use with instruments that have only an RS-232 port. Drivers included with the instruments and the adapter are only compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and lower. Microsoft Windows Vista compatible drivers are available for download from the driver manufacturer website.