96 well plate 'cover-slips'

Hello. I am reading a paper about TIRF / STORM and the authors state they put fluo beads on a PLL coated 96 well plate. They later talk about the ‘coverslips’ the beads are on.

Silly question perhaps but it is ‘normal’ for fluo / cell culture people to refer to the bottom of their 96 well plates as ‘coverslips’ because I can’t understand that term any other way for such experiments?

(PS I have never worked with 96 well plates or cell cultures so forgive my ignorance if this is a dumb question).


There are glass-bottom multi-well plates such as: 96 Well glass bottom plate with high performance #1.5 cover glass | Cellvis
The bottom of the plate is effectively a large coverslip that is sealed around each well. My guess would be that this is what the authors are referring to and the “coverslip” is the glass bottom of the multi-well plate.


Thank you - that sounds reasonable. I just needed someone who uses these things to say it!

Hi @P_Tadrous,

Just wanted to chime in and share that as someone who regularly uses 96 well plates (in fact, the exact ones @dmahecic linked above :sunglasses:) for cell and fluorescent bead imaging, I do not generally refer to the plates as coverslips and I would not call it normal practice to do so. I also agree with @dmahecic that it is likely the authors used “coverslip” terminology when they meant to say the “individual well glass”, but they should also clarify in the methods section what materials they are using.

I point this out because in some cases, particularly for TIRF imaging of immune cells, it is very common for people to assemble multi-well imaging chambers with glass coverslips they clean/pretreat for downstream glass functionalization. In this case, “coverslip” would be an intentional term used, and the 96 well aspect would be an interesting detail in the paper. Generally this approach is used for assembling 8-18 well plates (such as Ibidi stick on chambers) and not 96+ well plates, but there are commercially available options with higher well counts, such as those from Microsurfaces. These details theoretically would be in the methods section for the imaging sample prep, so it might be worth it to double check!

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Thanks for this practical detail. The authors were mostly physicists building some custom microscope and I was actually peer reviewing the paper because of my work in custom microscope building and optics and, well, the coverslip thing was the least of its issues - but if I get to see the revised manuscript I will take these things into account - but I did recommend they flesh out their materials and methods in regards to this experiment anyway.