Search our Frequently Asked Questions by keyword, product or category. For additional assistance call (800) 242-4685 or submit a question via our Ask a Question form.


General Question

Is it possible to extend lamp life?

What is the range on my absorbance or fluorescence filter?

When will my BioTek product be compliant with RoHS2 Directive 2011/65/EU?

Is refurbished or used microplate instrumentation available?

Where do I look for information regarding instrument maintenance?

Discontinued BioTek Products

Should we turn off our BioTek reader at the end of the day?

How can I compensate for condensation build-up on the underside of a microplate lid with an assay requiring incubation?

What microplate should I use for a particular assay?

Does BioTek offer refillable pipette tip formats for environmental and cost-savings purposes?

What solutions do you offer to automate hit picking applications?

What are the default parameters for BioTek’s microplate readers in Fluorescence mode?

What’s the best way to handle assays with temperature control?

How are BioTek readers able to read larger diameter wells?

What is the best way to store ELx800 and ELx808 interference filters for extended periods of time?

How can I connect a BioTek instrument to my laptop that only has USB ports?

What is the MSDS information for BioTek QC test solutions?

I need an electronic copy of an Operator's manual. Where do I get one?

What is the detection limit for DNA quantitation?

How often should I perform performance qualification tests?

How is the Universal Test plate used to qualify a reader’s absorbance performance?

How do I troubleshoot communication problems between my instrument and computer?

What should I do if I have a problem or question about my BioTek equipment?

How do I get my "universal absorbance test plate" recertified?

Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Readers

Does the system have CO2 and O2 control capability?

Does the system have built-in incubation capability?

Is it possible to calculate SD using Gen5 software?

What are the main difference between Cytation 1 and Cytation 5?

Microplate Dispensers

I need to dispense 750 µL to a 96-well format deep well microplate. Which of BioTek's microplate dispensers, the MicroFill or the MicroFlo Select, would be the fastest? If it is the MicroFlo Select, would the 5 µL or the 10 µL cassette be best?

I am currently using a BioTek ELx405 plate washer and am having some clogging issues with the aspiration manifold. Is there a wire tool available to manually clear the aspiration tips? What other methods do you recommend to clean the manifold?

Microplate Pipetting Systems

Is the Precision compatible with any vacuum manifolds?

How often should I replace the pipette o-rings on my Precision Microplate Pipetting System?

Microplate Readers

How can we verify that the measurements above the OD accuracy, linearity and repeatability specification are acceptable for our lab?

Why is the OD accuracy, linearity and precision specified for a smaller range than the defined dynamic range?

What are the filters/mirror and reading parameters required to read HTRF® assays on my Synergy?

What are the filters/mirror and reading parameters required to read AlphaScreen and AlphaLISA assays on my Synergy?

Which printers are compatible with my ELx800 or ELx808 reader?

Will my ELx808 or PowerWave 340 work with plates that are not 96-wells?

Can I read PCR plates on my FLx800 or Synergy microplate reader?

How can I run cell growth assays on my absorbance microplate reader?

How do I adjust the sensitivity for optimum results in fluorescence or luminescence?

What are the commonly used ELISA conjugate/substrate combinations and what wavelengths do they require?

My DNA quantitation results are quite different than that provided by my spectrophotometer

Can I use pathlength correction wavelengths other than 977 nm for aqueous solutions?

What advantages does the Bio-Cell™ offer?

Do I have to use a blank on the plate when quantitating DNA at 260 nm?

What volume should I use for DNA quantitation when reading at 260 nm?

What is the expected lifetime of the Xenon Flash lamp?

How do I configure my Synergy HT / FLx800 for luminescence?

Microplate Washers

Can I use the vacuum filtration feature of my ELx50 strip washer for partial plates?

Which magnet should I choose for my BioTek washer?

Can I transfer and share protocols between my BioTek washers and dispensers?

The buffer I am using does not contain surfactant, how can I optimize aspiration in a 384-well plate?

What is AutoPrime™ and when should I use it?

How do you recommend maintaining my ELx405 Microplate Washer under sterile conditions?

When I’m using solutions that contain proteins, how often should I perform a maintenance routine on my microplate washer?

I may be interested in using my instrument to dispense a corrosive chemical. Are there certain chemicals that should not be used with your instruments?

If I want to use a house vacuum, what is the vacuum requirement for the ELx405?

Can I use acid or alkali solutions with BioTek's ELx50 Washer?

Why does my liquid handler come on by itself about 10 minutes (or more) after a run is complete?

Multi-Mode Microplate Readers

What kinds of vessels are compatible with the Cytation?

How do I choose between monochromators or filters?

What are the benefits to Top Reading versus Bottom Reading on my fluorescence microplate reader?

How do I optimize the instrument for reading assays with live cells (cellular assays) on the bottom of the wells?

Do the requirements for successful DNA quantitation including pathlength correction, appropriate plates, minimum volumes, and blank wells apply to RNA and protein quantitation at 260 and 280 nm respectively?

What microplates can I use when reading absorbance of samples in the UV range?

Fluorescence filters: when you see 485/20 nm for a filter does it mean that the band pass is 20 nm in total or +/- 20 nm?

How long should my lamp last and how do I change it?


Can I use the BioStack 4 with Gen5 v2.04?

Can I use the standard BioStack stacks (p/n 7310008, 7310023 and 731003) with BioStack 4?

Can BioStack 4 be controlled via the touch screen interface of 405TS and MultiFlo FX to work with both lidded and non-lidded plates?

Can BioStack 4 be controlled via the keypad (non-touch screen) liquid handling instruments (EL406, 405LS, MultiFlo)?


A message stating “Unexpected file format.” appears when I attempt to open a Gen5 file

What version of Gen5 is compatible with Windows 7?

Where can I find Sample Files for Gen5?

What does it mean when I get the value "OVRFLW" on my Gen 5 results and how can it be corrected?

How do I transfer Gen5 to a new computer?

How can I update my Gen5 software?

What is a “discontinuous kinetic” procedure in Gen5?

My lab is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant, what products do you have for me?

Can I copy and paste data into Gen5?

Is it possible to pre-heat the incubator and warm up the tungsten bulb in my Synergy reader?

What file types can I import into Gen5 software for analysis?

Where can I find Gen5 installation files?

Can I install Gen5 on a computer not connected to my plate reader?

I’m using Gen5 Software; am I limited to operating one microplate reader at a time?

How do I export data from Gen5 into Excel using PowerExports?

How do I import data into Gen5?

What is the Gen5 Diagnostics Utility, and is it necessary in order to use the Absorbance Test Plate?

How do I register and get a password for my software?

I have Microsoft Windows Vista on my computer. How can I get Vista compatible USB drivers for my system?