To learn how to connect the 2-Switch™ on the Switchboard, go to the ESS™ section.
Concerning the tubing connection:
The 2-SWITCH™ can only be connected with 1/16’’ OD tubing and the provided fittings. There is a wide variety of materials and internal diameters available with 1/16’’ tubing to suit your application. However, if you have constraints on your fluidic set-up that force you to use tubing of other external diameters than 1/16’’, a wide range of adaptors and unions are available from the fittings suppliers, to make a junction between your specific tubing and the 2-SWITCH™ tubing.
Warning: Please note that sleeves cannot be used directly in the 2-SWITCH™ fluidic ports (risks of trapping the smaller tubing and possible non-tight connection).
If you are planning to use a 2-SWITCH™ as a fluidic on/off switch, you will need to plug either port #1 or port #2 on the 2-SWITCH™. For example, if you plug port #2, when in Position 2 the common port will be connected to the plug inside the 2-SWITCH™. As there is still some internal volume inside the 2-SWITCH™ (12µL per position), it is better to fill the 2-SWITCH™ in Position 2 with distilled water before connecting the plug to close the position. This way, during the experiment when the valve is actuated in Position 2 to close a path, there will be no air bubble and a minimal liquid displacement in the Position 2, as it will have already been filled with liquid.
Yes, the size market at the nozzle are here to help you estimate the size of the droplets you are generating. The Droplet Starter Pack has been designed to have very stable flow-rates, as the microfluidic resistance is mainly within the chip. This means that the flow-rates will stay stable even with pressure control only, thus the droplet sizes.
The Switchboard ports called ‘1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8’ are compatible with the 2-Switch™.
To connect a valve to the Switchboard, plug a RJ45 cable provided by Fluigent between the valve and the right Switchboard port.
To identify the linked SWITCHBOARD RJ45 ports and devices, you can use the Check connection feature by pushing the corresponding Check connection buttons on the SWITCHBOARD. This will light up the green RJ45 indicators on the associated SWITCHBOARD RJ45 port and on the RJ45 port of the device connected to it.
A “hot plug and play” connection means that the device can be connected to the computer while both the device and the computer are powered on, and the operating system recognizes and configures the device automatically, downloading and installing any required drivers without any additional action on the user’s part.
For the Flow EZ™, connecting the pressure supply and the power supply directly turns on the Flow EZ™ module.
There are several ways to check which is the RJ45 port associated with a device with a customized name:
Solution: You need to have the Read and Write rights for the file ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\AutoIt3’. If not, go to ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\AutoIt3’, right click and go to ‘Properties’ then untick ‘Read only’.
Solution: Your Unicode language has to be changed to “English US”.
You must use the straight-through wired RJ45 cables to connect your valves to the SWITCHBOARD (Fluigent advises to only use the cables provided with the ESS™ Platform). The four first ports in the white cables section (port A to port D) are for connection with M-SWITCH™ or L-SWITCH™. The next eight ports in the blue cables section (from port 1 to port 8) are for connection with 2-SWITCH™. Please refer to ESS™ Platform User Manual for more details.
You should use the 50 Ohm coaxial cable with BNC connectors to connect your synchronized devices to your SWITCHBOARD. These connection ports on the SWITCHBOARD are called TTL ports and are located at the back side as shown in Question 1 of this section.
NOTE: If you don’t have a 50 Ohm coaxial cable, you can contact us or easily command on the Internet, here is an example from Radiospare: reference 742-4315
Yes, you can use ESS™ TTL Configurator to edit the action rules or to save these action rules in a local file without SWITCHBOARD connected to your computer. You only need to connect your SWITCHBOARD when you want to write these action rules into your SWITCHBOARD. Once the writing procedure is finished, you can disconnect your SWITCHBOARD. These action rules are stored in the internal memory of SWITCHBOARD, and will be kept until another configuration is written, even when the SWITCHBOARD is powered off.
NOTE: Before writing action rules into your SWITCHBOARD, you need to verify the valves are connected to the SWITCHBOARD exactly as you configured in the Valve configuration section and there is no conflict among the action rules.
The FRCM is the solution to control flow-rates within your system. The FRCM uses pressure actuation to control flow-rates. Thanks to this unique algorithm the pressures are adjusted automatically to reach the flow-rate set point.
The process can be divided in 4 steps:
There are many benefits:
The identification wizard provides 3 different ways to perform the identification step:
For more details about the identification wizard steps, please read the user manual MAESFLO™
Modify the pressure values of the pressure channels. Usually, by decreasing the pressure value you will be able to stop a flow-rate sensor saturation. Modify first the pressure channels which have a major impact on the flow-rate channel currently saturated.
To limit saturations, try to avoid air bubbles in your microsystem. Bubbles in a micro system may lead to flow-rate overshoots when a new pressure order is applied. The bigger the bubble is, the higher the flow-rate overshoot may be.
It means that the selected pressure channels will be automatically adjusted by the software to provide the requested flow-rates. You will not be able to modify the pressure of these channels yourself. You can control all the other pressure channels (not selected in this step) with the Pressure Control panel.
The selected pressure channels should be connected to the flow-rate channels regarding the microfluidic design of your setup. It means that a pressure modification leads to a flow-rate modification. If you cannot define these relations, please select all the pressure channels available. The Flow-Rate Control Module is able to figure out all the relations between pressure and flow-rate channels.
The software stops the identification if too many flow-rate sensor saturations occurred.
Please also be sure that the flow sensor ranges and the pressure channel ranges are suitable for your microsystem. If a flow sensor saturates when you applied less than 20% of the maximum pressure available, the ranges may not be suitable for your microsystem.
The software cannot apply a previous identification file if the Fluigent devices connected do not exactly match those used during the creation of the identification file. The following parameters must be the same:
It means that the selected pressure channels will be automatically adjusted by the software to provide the wanted flow-rates. You will not be able to modify the pressure of these channels all by yourself in flow-rate control mode. You can control all the other pressure channels (not selected in this step) with the Pressure Control panel.
You are allowed to stop the identification when you want. FLUIGENT advises you to go to the next step only if the identification quality is at least Medium (High would be best). However, the identification process typically lasts two (2) or three (3) minutes. If the identification quality do not reach a Medium or High quality after 5 minutes, stop the identification process. Then, try to adapt your system to avoid saturations and/or transitory phenomena.
In the identification step, pressures will be applied and consequently liquids will flow inside your microfluidic system. It means that this identification step will consume some liquids. If you do not want to use your samples (delicate and/or costly) you can make the identification with model samples (with characteristics close to your real sample). After the completion of the identification step, you fill your reservoirs with your real sample, load the identification file and then perform your experiment.
The grayed pressure channels are those only available for the pressure control. These channels have not been selected during the identification step. The Flow-Rate Control Module is not able to use them for flow-rate control. If you want to use these channels with the Flow-Rate Control Module, please process a new identification.
The selected pressure should be connected to the flow-rate channels regarding the microfluidic design of your setup. It means that a pressure modification leads to a flow-rate modification. If you cannot define these relations, please select all the pressure channels available. The Flow-Rate Control Module is able to figure out all the relations between pressure and flow-rate channels.
Reducing the pressure response time leads to reduce the flow-rate overshoots that may appear during the identification process or while the Flow-Rate Control is running. It may be used to increase the identification quality and/or leads to a more stable flow-rate control. Any pressure response modification is applied to all the pressure channels even those not used by the Flow-Rate Control Module.
For L, XL Flow Unit :
For XS, S, M Flow Unit :
Flow Unit models are highly sensitive and should be properly cleaned to always maintain high performance. With proper care and maintenance, the Flow Units can last many years. No cleaning or improper cleaning may leave deposits on the internal capillary wall which could result in measurement deviations and even clogging. Cleaning the sensor after use and before storing the device for a long period of time should prevent the sensors from any damage.
Do not allow the sensor to dry with media in the capillary tube without flushing clean first. Also try to avoid letting the filled sensor sit for extended periods (depending on your liquid).
Before storing the sensor, always drain of fluid, flush with cleaning agent, blow out, and dry the capillary.
For the XS FLOW UNIT model, filter your solution through a 5µm (or lower) membrane filter.
Cleaning and flushing of the Flow Units should consider the nature of the materials that were being pumped through them. Typically, one should select a cleaning solution that is safe for the Flow Unit (the inside surface) and the rest of the set up but yet will dissolve the type of samples that were in contact with the surface.
For Flow Unit XS, S and M, fluids have to be compatible with PEEK & Quartz glass.
For Flow Unit L and XL, fluids have to be compatible with PEEK & Borosilicate glass.
The following steps are recommended for water-based solutions, in the right order:
The detergent needs to be compatible with Flow Unit, the rest of your set-up (microfluidic chip, especially) and fluids used during your experiment.
Working with Multiple Liquids
Switching between multiple liquids can leave transient deposits in the form of liquid layers inside the glass capillary. This is especially common for insoluble liquids, but can happen even with miscible liquid combinations. For example, when IPA is followed by water in a sensor without drying in between, large offsets can be observed for hours after switching to water.
If possible, dedicate a separate sensor for each different liquid to be measured. If not possible, use caution when switching media and clean properly.
Working with Water
When working with water it is recommended not to let the sensor dry out. All salts and minerals in the water will deposit on the glass and are difficult to remove. Although salt solutions are particularly prone to problems, even clean water can still contain enough dissolved minerals to form a deposition layer. Flush with DI water on a regular basis to prevent build-up. If you still encounter problems, occasionally flush the sensor with slightly acidic cleaning agents.
When working with water containing organic materials (sugars, etc.) microorganisms often grow on the walls of the glass capillary and form an organic film that can be difficult to remove. Flush on a regular basis with solvents such as ethanol, methanol or IPA, or with cleaning detergents to remove organic films.
Working with Silicone Oils
When working with silicone oil it is recommended not to let the sensor dry out. Silicone oils can be cleaned out using special cleaners. Check with your silicone oil supplier for cleaning agents compatible with glass surfaces.
Working with Paints or Glues
When working with paints or glues it is critical not to let the sensor dry out. Often, depositions of paints and glues cannot be removed anymore after they have dried. Flush the sensor with cleaning agents recommended by your paint or glue manufacturer that are compatible with glass. Ensure that you have found a good cleaning procedure before performing the first tests, and always clean shortly after emptying the sensor.
Working with Alcohols or Solvents
Unlike most other fluids, alcohols and solvents are not critical and a short flush of isopropanol (IPA) is sufficient to clean the capillary walls.
Other Liquids or Applications
If uncertain about your application and how to clean the flow sensor, please contact FLUIGENT for additional support at firstname.lastname@example.org
Identified cleaning solutions
|Sample liquid||Cleaning solution||Supplier|
|Biofilm/cells||· Biofilm remover
· Sodium dichloroisocyanurate (1 ppm HClO; ref : 218928)
· Sigma Aldrich
|1% micro-beads of polystyrene in DI Water||· Toluene 99.8% (ref : 244511)||· Sigma Aldrich|
|Mineral oil (Sigma cat no. 5904)||· RBS 25 (ref : 83460)
|· Sigma Aldrich
|Blood||· BD FACS Clean
· RBS 25 (ref : 83460)
· Sigma Aldrich
|Tissues, body fluids, proteinacous soil (Biological application)||· Tergazyme||· ALCONOX|
|Solvent and bioreactor residue||· Tergazyme||· ALCONOX|
|Min Wash Temp||Ambient|
|Usual Wash Temp||Max 130F or 55°C|
In general, any cleaning by mechanical means should be avoided. Never enter the sensor flow path with sharp objects that could scratch the glass surface.
Furthermore, no abrasives or liquids containing solids that can grind the surface clean should be used. Anything that affects the glass wall will cause deviations in the measurement performance or permanently damage the sensor.
Strong acids and bases should also not be used to clean the sensor. Acids can sometimes be used in low concentration and at low temperatures. Before using the acid check how compatible it is with borosilicate 3.3 glass (Pyrex® or Duran®).
Most of the times, flow-rate peaks represent air bubbles. In order to get a stable measured flow rate, you have to remove all the air bubbles into your set-up. To achieve this, flush your set up by applying a higher pressure until air bubbles disappeared. Besides, you own flow controller might not deliver a stable flow. Contact us for more information.
You can calculate a scale factor which will correct the measured flow-rate returned by the Flow Unit.
The different FLOW UNIT models are calibrated to provide an accurate reading when used with the corresponding fluid, water or isopropyl alcohol.
For the FLOW UNIT models XS/XL, only one single calibration for water is available. For the FLOW UNIT models S/M/L, two calibrations are available: Water and Isopropyl alcohol.
The FLOW UNIT can be used to handle different fluids not originally calibrated for. When possible, select a standard calibration field that most closely matches your fluid.
For example, water calibration can be used for water based solution and isopropyl alcohol calibration for hydrocarbons or oil. The calibration can be selected and switched in the software.
In order to obtain accurate flow-rates for alternative fluids, it is necessary to use correction factors (scale factor), to convert the displayed value into the actual value. The scale factor can be added in the software. Adding the scale factor ensures that the flow sensor reading is now accurate for the target fluid.
The following section explains how you can calculate this scale factor and shows an example with a fluorinated oil: FC-40.
A method for providing a known flow-rate is required to work out the scale factor for the selected fluid. This could be a syringe pump, a peristaltic pump or a pressure regulator delivering fluid onto a precision balance with volume calculated from known density. Here is an example using MFCS™-EZ.
Make a table that contains the time for each measurement, results from weighing scale, the flow-rate of the pump and the data measured by the FLOW UNIT. A minimum of 3 measurements is recommended for each flow-rate.
The principle of the experiment is to inject the FC-40 through the desired FLOW UNIT model connected to the FLOWBOARD. Then simultaneously you record the flow-rate given by the software and you measure the weight of fluid you have collected over a chosen period of time. Knowing the density of the fluid, you are able to define the actual flow-rate.
Note that if a peristaltic or a syringe pump is used, one has to wait until the target flow-rate is reached (settling times can be long) and to calculate an average flow-rate due to the pulsations.
The list of materials needed to reproduce the experiment is given below:
– One (1) FLOWBOARD
– One (1) FLOW UNIT model
– One (1) MFCS™-EZ or with the appropriate pressure range (1 bar for FC-40) and MAESFLO™ software.
– One (1) precision weighing scale
The table below displays the information recorded during the experiment: the pressure imposed by the MFCS™-EZ, Qs the flow-rate recorded by the FLOW UNIT through the Flow-Rate Platform software, Qw the flow-rate measured with the precision weighing scale, and Qw/Qs the calculated scale factor for a single point calibration.
Consequently, when working around 317 ?l/min (target flow-rate), you have to add the scale factor of 3.5 so that the measurement of the sensor corresponds to the actual flow-rate for FC-40.
To learn how to connect the M-Switch™ on the Switchboard, go to the ESS™ section.
Concerning the tubing connection:
To learn how to connect the M-Switch™ on the Switchboard, go to the ESS™ section.
Concerning the tubing connection:
The M-SWITCH™ can only be connected with 1/16’’ OD tubing. There is a wide variety of materials and internal diameters available with 1/16’’ OD tubing to suit your application. However, if you have constraints on your fluidic setup that force you to use tubing of other external diameters than 1/16’’, a wide range of adaptors and unions are available from the fittings suppliers, to make a junction between your specific tubing and the M-SWITCH™ tubing.
Warning: Please note that sleeves cannot be used directly in the M-SWITCH™ fluidic ports (risks of trapping the smaller tubing and possible non-tight connection).
All reservoirs, except the custom caps, can handle pressurization under 7bar.
Please be careful with the custom caps. For now, there is no bottle compatible with the custom caps having a pressure resistance equal to 7bar. Fluigent strongly advises you to use customs caps with pressure below 2bar only. If you still have questions, please contact Fluigent support at email@example.com.