BioTek: Microplate Instrumentation & Software Solutions
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BioTek History Timeline

From 1981-2014


BioTek is a family-run organization with origins dating back to 1968. In 1981 BioTek entered the microplate instrument arena and introduced its first microplate reader. Since then, BioTek has emerged as a global leader in microplate-based solutions that increase the productivity for customers engaged in healthcare, pharmaceutical, agricultural and research applications. Today, BioTek is completely focused on microplate instrumentation, automation and software. The historical timeline below outlines some of BioTek's milestones since entering the life science market.






405 Touch



One World


Epoch Microplate Spectrophotometer


  • BioTek celebrates 40th Anniversary.
  • MicroFlo Select Dispenser introduced.
  • EL406 Combination Washer/Dispensed is released.
  • BioTek holds first Global Sales Meeting in Burlington, VT with the theme "One World. One Team. One Focus." Staff and distributors from around the world attended with 42 countries represented.
One World


Synergy 4


  • BioTek launches new corporate identity and logo. Get a Better Reaction.
  • Synergy 2 modular Multi-Detection Reader and Nanoquot Microplate Dispenser introduced.
  • Gen5 Data Analysis Software is developed and introduced to run all BioTek readers.


  • BioStack Twister II Microplate Handler introduced.
  • The first issue of TekTalk, BioTek’s Quarterly Customer E-Newsletter is published.


  • Precision XS Microplate Sample Processor and the Clarity Microplate Luminometer introduced.
  • BioTek finalizes an agreement with Immucor to develop the next generation blood typing and cross matching instrument.


  • BioTek enters into an agreement with UVM and Immucor, Inc to develop a practical fluorescence based platelet assay for determining platelet activation.


  • BioTek sells Biomedical division to focus solely on Laboratory Microplate business.
  • BioTek opens European Coordination Center in Germany. 
  • BioTek introduces the Synergy HT Multi-Detection Reader, the PowerWave XS Microplate Spectrophotometer, and the BioStack Microplate Stacker.
  • BioTek finalizes an agreement with Immucor, Inc. to develop a 2nd revision to the ABS2000 automated blood typing and cross matching analyzer.


  • Powerwave HT Microplate Spectrophotometer and the MicroFill Microplate Dispenser introduced.
  • Briar Alpert becomes President & CEO.




  • FLx800 Multi-Detection Reader, ELx405 Automated Microplate Washer and the first magnetic bead washer, the ELx405M introduced.
  • BioTek is awarded U.S. patent for Universal Washing Apparatus for Microtiter Plate and the like.
  • BioTek is awarded U.S. patent for Method of and Apparatus for Performing Fixed Pathlength Vertical Photometry.


  • µQuant and PowerWaveX Microplate Spectrophotometers and KCJunior software for Windows introduced.


  • BioTek introduces the PowerWave, our first Microplate Spectrophotometer, the FL600 Multi-Detection Reader, the ELx50 Microplate Strip Washer and KC4 Data Reduction Software for Windows.


  • BioTek receives ISO9001 certification from National Standards Authority of Ireland. 
  • BioTek introduces the ELx808 Automated Microplate Reader.
  • BioTek launches first corporate Web Site at


  • ELx800 Automated Microplate Reader, EL404 Automated Microplate Washer, and KC3 for Windows instrument control and data reduction software are introduced.
  • BioTek is awarded U.S. patent for Method of Distinguishing Among Strips for Different Assays in an Automated Instrument.


  • BioTek introduces the FL500 Fluorescence Microplate Reader and ELP-40 Microplate Strip Washer.


  • BioTek celebrates 25th Anniversary.
  • BioTek launches ELs1000 automated ELISA system.


  • Ceres 900 Automated Microplate Reader with built-in computer and screen introduced.
  • BioTek enters into an agreement with Immucor, Inc. to develop the first automated blood typing and cross matching analyzer. It is later named the ABS2000.


  • Kineticalc II software for microplate reader control and data reduction introduced.
  • BioTek begins development of Omni System for high throughput infectious disease diagnostics and screening. Launch customers include Sorin Biomedica and Genetic Systems (inventor of the first practical HIV screening assay).
  • BioTek buries time capsule to be opened October 2041.
  • BioTek adopts voice mail technology.



  • R&D and M&S move into current location in Highland Park across the cul-de-sac from manufacturing facility. Construction later begins to expand Manufacturing at BioTek West.


  • EL340 Biokinetics reader, EL944 Turbo Software for EL311 and EL312 clinical data reduction and the ELP-35 Automated Strip Washer are introduced.
  • BioTek purchases first fax machine in M&S department and transitions from Telex communication technology.


  • BioTek introduces the EL311 Automated Microplate Reader, the EL312 Biokinetics Reader, the EL403 Automated Microplate Washer (the first robotic capable EL403), the EL301 Manual Strip Reader for field use, and Kineticalc PC Software for microplate reader control and data reduction.
  • BioTek introduces first full line Laboratory product catalog.


  • BioTek introduces the EL307c Manual Microplate Reader and the EL320 Stacking Automated Reader for automatic reading up to 25 plates.


  •  R&D and M&S departments move to Hercules Drive, Colchester, VT.


  • BioTek introduces the EL309 Microplate Reader, and the EL401 Microplate Strip Washer.
  • BioTek moves from the Chase Mill to Highland Industrial Park, Winooski, VT.
  • First OEM was established with Genetic Systems to purchase the EL402 washer.


  • BioTek introduces its first Automated Microplate Reader, the EL310 (with internal printer), the EL308 Manual Microplate Reader (with internal 80-column printer and cartridge programming) and the first Microplate Washer, the EL402. 
  • Datalogging and data reduction software for the Apple II+ and the IBM PC are introduced.


  • BioTek awarded U.S. patent for Photometer with Microtray Well position indicator.


  • EL307B microplate reader introduced.


  • BioTek introduces first Laboratory instrument, the EL307 EIA Microplate Reader. Previously all products were developed for the Biomedical business.
  • BioTek attends their first Laboratory trade show, the American Society for Microbiology.

 1968 - 1980

  • BioTek develops, manufactures and sells biomedical testing equipment.