I have a problem maintaining consistent media volumes in my 96-well plates. Any suggestions?

Answer

Absolutely. This is a common problem faced by 96-well plate users referred to as Edge Effect. The uneven evaporation of media in wells within the 96-well plate, especially in the outer most wells is due to uneven heating and insulation of the plate when stacked. One way to get around this problem, which also has downstream effects resulting in variable read outs across replicates, is to use cultureware that prevents insulation and promotes even distribution of temperature. This was designed by scientists who work for the cell culture manufacturer TPP in Switzerland; they created all their flasks, dishes and plates to have a raised bottom and essentially have feet such that it creates vents for temperature to distribute evenly around the plate and most importantly under the plate. I highly recommend trying out a sample of a TPP 96-well plate for more consistent gene and protein reporting across replicates in a 96-well format. Hope this answers your question.