Deep well polypropylene microplates are commonly used for sample storage in life science laboratories. An essential aspect of the manufacture of these plates is the selection of clean raw materials for injection moulding. Polypropylene is an inert and heat resistant material, ideal for sample storage. However, all grades of polypropylene are not the same, for example, injection moulding grades of polypropylene often have high concentrations of chemicals to aid the moulding process. This allows rapid production of plates and lower costs, but may compromise the integrity of samples or compounds which are stored in such plates for extended periods. The problem is particularly acute where compounds are stored as solutions in solvents such as methanol or DMSO, as these excellent solvents have a tendency to extract from the polypropylene base material any added extractable compounds such as mould release agents or polymer flow improvers. Porvair Sciences has published detailed analysis of its own and other manufacturer’s plates, with MS traces, so that you can compare good and bad performers
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