It is undeniable that the extensive use of plastic materials in labware has contributed to increased productivity and decreased costs. These plastics are generally considered to be chemically inert. However, a recent paper in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening is just the most recent example of the mounting evidence that plastics can contain trace chemical additives, also known as extractables and leachables, that can exhibit bioassay specific interference.
In the current paper, scientists from Bristol-Myers were using their PHERAstar microplate reader to perform a screen to identify compounds that inhibit monoamine oxidase using a fluoresence based assay. During the screen they observed an abrupt and drastic decrease in the signal-to-background ratio. After much investigation they finally discovered that 3 compounds, which were present in a new microplate used for compound storage and delivery, were the culprit. Further investigation revealed that these compounds were selective monoamine oxidase B inhibitors!
Article citation: Labware additives identified to be selective monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors.Stewart, J. et al J Biomol Screen (2014) 19:1409-14.