CHOOSING THE RIGHT SEAL is not only important for protecting your samples, it can play a critical role in the integrity of your data. Seals may be applied using heat or an adhesive. For this article we will focus on adhesive seals.
THERE ARE FOUR LAYERS THAT MAKE AN ADHESIVE SEAL:
Film – This layer is generally an inert polymer or fiber material with specific chemical or physical properties. The film layer needs to be chosen for the intended application. For instance, pore size can be varied depending upon the gas permeability requirements of specific cell lines. Materials can also vary depending on their compatibility with organic reagents, acids, bases, etc.
Adhesive – Bonds the seals to the plates. Adhesive layers are formulated to adhere to specific plastics such as polypropylene, polystyrene or cyclic olefin. Adhesives have also been developed to be activated by pressure, being applied only to the areas in contact with the wells. This “encapsulated adhesive” has been developed specifically to avoid the possibility of cross contamination reactions with the material(s) in the well. Seals have also been developed so the scientist can easily remove or “peel” the seal away from the plate without compromising the contents in each well. Pierce-able, peelable, breathable……..the seal must fit the application!
Top Coat – Most seals have a surface coating or treatment to allow writing on the seal.
Liner – Keeps the seals separated from each other and protects the adhesive. In most cases, the liner is wax paper. The liner also ensures the seal is smooth so as to avoid wrinkles.
ADHESIVE SEALS CAN BE PROVIDED FOR BOTH MANUAL USE AND AUTOMATED SYSTEMS:
Sheets – For manual application.
SealMate System – Smaller semi-automatic roll seals for easy dispense (only available for specific seal types).
Automation Rolls – For use in fully automatic sealers, like the KAPS 500.
Adhesive seals have been employed for use in many applications including: Cell Culture, bacterial colonies and PCR. Understanding the requirements of your application allows you to select the most optimal seal. For more information regarding seals and how they work with your application, please feel free to contact Landon Diaz: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Landon Diaz