User Manual

User Manual
multichannel
systems
®
User Manual
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written
permission of Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, the publisher and
the author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the
use of information contained in this document or from the use of programs and source code
that may accompany it. In no event shall the publisher and the author be liable for any loss of
profit or any other commercial damage caused or alleged to have been caused directly or
indirectly by this document.
© 2002–2004 Multi Channel Systems GmbH. All rights reserved.
Printed: 2004-09-17
Multi Channel Systems
MCS GmbH
Aspenhaustraße 21
72770 Reutlingen
Germany
Fon
+49-71 21-90 92 5 - 0
Fax
+49-71 21-90 92 5 - 11
[email protected]
www.multichannelsystems.com
Roboocyte® is a registered trademark of Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH. Microsoft and
Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Products that are referred to in
this document may be either trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective
holders and should be noted as such. The publisher and the author make no claim to these
trademarks.
Table Of Contents
1
1.1
1.2
Introduction
About this Manual
Important Information and Instructions
1.2.1 Operator's Obligations
1.2.2 Important Safety Advice
1.2.3 Guaranty and Liability
2
2.1
2.2
First Use of the Roboocyte
About First Use of the Roboocyte
Before You Begin
2.2.1 Welcome to the Roboocyte
2.2.2 Scope of Delivery
Installing the Roboocyte
2.3.1 Setting Up the Roboocyte
2.3.2 Connecting the Roboocyte
2.3.3 Setting Up the Gilson Liquid Handler
2.3.4 Setting Up the Aspiration Pump
2.3.5 Setting Up the Perfusion System
2.3.6 Installing the Software
2.3.7 Linking to the Database
2.3.8 Starting the Roboocyte
2.3.9 Defining General Settings
2.3
1
1
1
1
2
4
5
5
5
5
8
9
9
10
12
13
13
15
17
18
19
3
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
3.11
cDNA/mRNA Injection
About cDNA/mRNA Injection with the Roboocyte
Strategies for a Successful Injection
Preparations for Injection
Setting Up the Well Plate
Selecting Oocytes for Injection
Changing the Well Plate and Loading the Needle
Adjustment
Setting the Pressure and Injection Time
Starting the Injection
Resetting the State of an Oocyte
Saving the Well Plate
20
20
20
22
23
26
27
29
31
34
35
35
4
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
4.10
4.11
4.12
TEVC Recording
About TEVC Recording with the Roboocyte
TEVC Probe Design
P/n Leak Subtraction
Preparations for Recording
Setting Up the Well Plate
Selecting Oocytes for Recording
Changing the Well Plate and the TEVC Probe
Adjustment
Testing the Electrode Impedance
Starting the Recording Sequence
Real-Time Monitoring
Recording Data
37
37
37
40
43
44
45
46
48
49
50
52
54
i
Table Of Contents
4.13
4.14
4.15
5
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
56
57
57
Data Analysis and Export
59
Database and Offline Analysis
59
5.1.1 Recordings Display
59
5.1.2 Analyzing Data
60
5.1.3 Graphing and Sorting Data
63
Generating a Report
64
Message Log Display
65
Data Export
65
Data Export with RoboDataTool
67
5.5.1 About RoboDataTool
67
5.5.2 Terms of Use
67
5.5.3 Limitation of Liability
68
5.5.4 Important Safety Advice
68
5.5.5 Settings
68
5.5.6 Loading a Data File
69
5.5.7 Exporting Results and Raw Data in Pulse format 69
5.5.8 Exporting Results in ASCII format
69
5.5.9 Exporting Raw Data in ASCII format
70
6
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
Compound Application
About the Perfusion System
Filling the Reservoirs
Fluid Aspiration
Compound Management
7
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.9
7.10
Manual Test Mode
79
About the Test Mode
79
Test Mode Toolbar
81
Preparations for Manual Operation
82
DC Offset Correction
82
Oocyte Impalement and Membrane Potential Check 84
Amplifier Control Parameters (PI Coefficients)
86
Leak Current Check
88
Voltage Steps
89
Manual Compound Application
90
Controlling a Gilson Liquid Handler
91
8
8.1
8.2
ii
Display Settings
Saving the Recorded Data
After the Recording
General Software Features
User Interface
8.1.1 Main Window
8.1.2 Menu Bar
8.1.3 Toolbar
8.1.4 Roboocyte Status
8.1.5 Shortcut Keys
8.1.6 Display Settings
Virtual Well Plate
8.2.1 Virtual Well Plate
8.2.2 New File
71
71
72
73
73
93
93
93
93
94
95
96
97
101
101
101
Table Of Contents
8.3
9
9.1
9.2
9.3
9.4
9.5
8.2.3 Open File
8.2.4 Save File
8.2.5 Unlock File
8.2.6 Plate Info
8.2.7 Well Plate View
8.2.8 Select Oocytes
Settings and Automated Operation
8.3.1 General Options
8.3.2 Settings
8.3.3 Settings for Advanced Users
8.3.4 Loading and Parsing a Script
8.3.5 Start, Pause and Stop Run
8.3.6 Script/Message Log
Service and Maintenance
About Service and Maintenance
Cleaning the x/y Table
Replacing the Injection Needle Holder
Storing and Replacing the Measuring Head
Maintaining the Tubing
10
10.1
102
102
103
103
104
106
108
108
109
111
115
116
117
119
119
119
119
119
119
Appendix
Technical Specifications
10.1.1 Roboocyte Robot
10.1.2 ClampAmp - Digital TEVC Amplifier
10.1.3 External Power Supply
10.1.4 Perfusion System
10.1.5 Software Package
10.1.6 Stereo Microscope
10.1.7 Model Test Cell
10.2 Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes
10.2.1 About Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes
10.2.2 Materials
10.2.3 Oocyte Removal
10.2.4 Defolliculation
10.2.5 Selecting Good Oocytes
10.2.6 Plating Oocytes
10.2.7 Washing Oocytes
10.3 Sources of Supply
10.3.1 Sources of Supply
10.4 Contact Information
10.4.1 Contact Information
121
121
121
122
123
123
123
123
124
125
125
125
127
127
127
128
128
131
131
135
135
11
137
Index
iii
1
Introduction
1.1
About this Manual
This manual comprises all important information about the first installation of the Roboocyte
hardware and software and about the daily work with the Roboocyte. It is assumed that you
already have a basic understanding of technical and software terms. Thus, no special skills are
required to read this manual.
If you need information on the Roboocyte Scripting Language, please refer to the RSL Parser
Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual.
If you are using the Roboocyte for the first time, please read the important safety advice
before installing the hardware and software (see "First use of the Roboocyte", where you
will find important information about the installation and first steps).
Then, start practicing using the tutorial. We offer you the opportunity of Learning by Doing,
which means that you start directly with practicing without much reading beforehand. We
suggest that you start the Roboocyte and then follow the tutorial step by step, either using the
integrated Help or the printed manual. Just decide what you like to do, read all necessary
information in short and put this information directly into practice. Go either to the
"cDNA/mRNA Injection" or the "TEVC Recording" section and start to work with the
Roboocyte.
The printed manual and Help are basically the same, so it is up to you which one you will use.
The Help offers you the advantage of scrolling through the text in a non-linear fashion, picking
up all information you need, especially if you use the Index, the Search function, and the
Browse Sequences. If you are going to read larger text passages, however, you may prefer
the printed manual.
The device and the software are part of an ongoing developmental process. Please understand
that the provided documentation is not always up to date. The latest information can be
found in the Roboocyte Help. Check also the Roboocyte Web site (www.roboocyte.com) for
downloading up-to-date manuals.
1.2
Important Information and Instructions
1.2.1 Operator's Obligations
The operator is obliged to allow only persons to work on the device, who
•
are familiar with the safety at work and accident prevention regulations and have been
instructed how to use the device;
•
are professionally qualified or have specialist knowledge and training and have received
instruction in the use of the device;
•
have read and understood the chapter on safety and the warning instructions in this manual
and confirmed this with their signature.
It must be monitored at regular intervals that the operating personnel are working safely.
Personnel still undergoing training may only work on the device under the supervision of an
experienced person.
1
Roboocyte User Manual
1.2.2 Important Safety Advice
Warning: Make sure to read the following advice prior to installations of the Roboocyte. If
you do not fulfill all requirements stated below, this may lead to malfunctions, breakage, or
even fatal injuries. Obey always the rules of local regulations and laws. Only qualified
personnel should be allowed to perform laboratory work. Work according to good
laboratory practice to obtain best results and to minimize risks.
The product has been built to the state of the art and in accordance with recognized safety
engineering rules. The device may only
•
be used for its intended purpose;
•
be used when in a perfect condition.
Improper use could lead to serious, even fatal injuries to the user or third parties and damage
to the device itself or other material damage.
Malfunctions which could impair safety should be rectified immediately.
High Voltage
Electrical cords must be properly laid and installed. The length and quality of the cords must be
in accordance with local provisions.
Only qualified technicians may work on the electrical system. It is essential that the accident
prevention regulations and those of the employers' liability associations are observed.
•
Each time before starting up, make sure that the mains supply agrees with the specifications
of the product.
•
Check the power cord for damage each time the site is changed. Damaged power cords
should be replaced immediately and may never be reused.
•
Check the leads for damage. Damaged leads should be replaced immediately and may never
be reused.
•
Liquids may cause short circuits or other damage. Keep the power supply and the power cords
always dry. Do not handle it with wet hands.
Requirements for the installation
•
The Roboocyte weighs more than 34 kg. Always grip it tightly and do not carry it alone, but
with the aid of another person.
•
The movement of the well plate carrier can lead to vibrations of the workbench on which the
Roboocyte is set up. Therefore, the Roboocyte must be set up on a rigid, vibration-free base.
The base must also be sufficiently solid to carry the weight of the device.
•
The Roboocyte should be operated only in an air conditioned room. A room temperature of
20 °C (or less) is recommended. Make sure that the device is not subject to direct sunlight. It
may overheat.
•
If the air cannot circulate freely around the external power supply, the device may overheat.
Do not shield the power supply by laying anything on top of it.
2
Introduction
Compressed air supply
Even small amounts of water in the compressed air can lead to a corrosion of the carrier. Other
contaminations can also result in malfunctions. Use only compressed air fulfilling the following
standards.
•
The air must be absolutely free of water, oil, and any particles.
•
When air is compressed, the humidity in the air is concentrated into a smaller area, frequently
condensing inside the air hoses. Use a water separator to remove water from the air. The
provided water separator is not suitable to establish the necessary conditions; it serves only
as a control device. If you regularly observe an accumulation of water in the provided water
separator, the compressed air does not fulfill the required standards. This is extremely
important! Water in the system leads to corrosion and can destroy the device.
•
Use a filter with 5 µm pores or smaller to remove any particles from the air.
•
Set the external air pressure at least to 5 bar, the maximum pressure of 10 bar must
not be exceeded. The actual operating pressure is regulated internally. Check the pressure at
the end of the pressure line, directly before it is lead into the Roboocyte. The Roboocyte needs
a minimum flow rate of 20 l/min.
•
Do not use other compressed air hoses than those provided, that is, ID 4 mm OD 6 mm from
compressor to water separator, and ID 2.5 OD 4 mm from water separator to the Roboocyte.
The use of other hoses could lead to a decrease of pressure.
Handling of the carrier
•
Do not try to lift the carrier off the x/y table. You may move the carrier carefully sideways by
hand if necessary (for cleaning purposes, for example), but not during operation.
•
If it happens that any liquid spills over the x/y table, please remove it as soon as possible in
order to prevent a corrosion of the carrier.
Handling of the z-axes
•
Do not move the z-axes by hand. Breakage may occur. Always use the software controls to
move an axis up and down.
•
Change the injection needle or the probe with great care. Stabilize the z-axis with one hand
while changing the needle/probe with the other.
•
The needle and the capillaries of the probe are sharp and may lead to injuries. Stay at a safe
distance during operation and protect your eyes. Especially take care not to move your
hands in the range of the z-axes.
•
Do not try to plug anything other than 0.4 mm wire or the provided connectors into the
sockets of the recording axis. Damage may occur.
Handling of the Ready to Use TEVC probes
•
The chloride coated silver wire is sensitive to light. Always keep it dark. Make sure that all
electrodes (including the reference electrodes) are still well-chlorided before you start a
recording. They should look dark grey, not shiny. The Ag/AgCl layer deteriorates over time,
leading to a DC offset and a voltage drift over time.
•
We recommend that you use the provided connectors to connect the electrodes to the z-axis. If
you want to plug the silver wire directly into the sockets of the z-axis, use only 0.4 mm silver
wire for the electrodes. A wire with a greater diameter will damage the connectors of the zaxis irreversibly.
3
Roboocyte User Manual
Handling of injection needles
•
The needles are sharp and break easily. Always handle them with care.
•
In rare cases, the needles may splinter when pressure is applied. Stay at a safe distance and
protect your eyes.
Operation of the aspiration pump
•
Empty the waste bottle at regular intervals, at least once a day if the Roboocyte is in use. The
pump must not be operated if the waste bottle is full. The pump must always be kept dry.
Liquids can fatally damage the device.
Regular backups
•
You (or the administrator) should perform backups of the Roboocyte data files (*.rcd files) and
of the Microsoft Access database (*.mdb) at regular intervals and to appropriate media for
preventing data loss. Data loss may be caused by power failure, system and software errors.
1.2.3 Guaranty and Liability
The General conditions of sale and delivery of Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH always apply.
The operator will receive these no later than on conclusion of the contract.
Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH makes no guaranty as to the accuracy of any and all tests
and data generated by the use of the device or the software. It is up to the users to use good
laboratory practice to establish the validity of their findings.
Guaranty and liability claims in the event of injury or material damage are excluded when they
are the result of one of the following.
•
Improper use of the device
•
Improper installation, commissioning, operation or maintenance of the device
•
Operating the device when the safety and protective devices are defective and/or inoperable
•
Non-observance of the instructions in the manual with regard to transport, storage,
installation, commissioning, operation or maintenance of the device
•
Unauthorized structural alterations to the device
•
Unauthorized modifications to the system settings
•
Inadequate monitoring of device components subject to wear
•
Improperly executed and unauthorized repairs
•
Unauthorized opening of the device or its components
•
Catastrophic events due to the effect of foreign bodies or acts of God
4
2
First Use of the Roboocyte
2.1
About First Use of the Roboocyte
This section contains important information about the general concept of the Roboocyte and
the setup of the system. You will also find information about the system requirements and a
step-by-step guide through the installation. Please read the important safety advice in the
Introduction prior to installing the Roboocyte.
2.2
Before You Begin
2.2.1 Welcome to the Roboocyte
The Roboocyte is a fully-automated all-in-one solution for high-throughput functional
secondary screening of drug targets based on the standard Xenopus expression system. The
Roboocyte allows an automated injection of cDNA/mRNA in Xenopus oocytes as well as an
automated recording using the TEVC method in standard 96 well plates over night.
Main features
•
Compact and functional design, works fully computer-controlled
•
High performance TEVC amplifier, records current of up to 32 µA
•
Automated data analysis and connection to a standard Access database
•
Export features for further data evaluation
•
Gravity based perfusion system with 8 valves (R8System) or 16 valves (R16System)
•
Support of a standard liquid handler for high-throughput screens
5
Roboocyte User Manual
Operation summary
•
There are two different modes: Injection and Recording. The Roboocyte software is started
in Injection mode. Click the tabs to switch from one mode to the other.
•
Instead of having a vast amount of different pull down menus, there is one clearly structured
menu bar and also a toolbar presenting commonly used commands. The same command may
have different effects depending on the currently selected mode. For example, whether you
like to select oocytes either for injection or for recording, the command (Select Oocytes) is
always the same. Therefore, you will quickly become familiar with the Roboocyte. Just make
sure you are in the appropriate mode.
•
Set all parameters and start the injection in Injection mode. Likewise, select the oocytes to be
recorded and start measuring in Recording mode.
•
The first step is to set up your "virtual" well plate according to your "real" well plate and the
experiment. The virtual well plate is visualized in a 12 x 8 grid as the real one, and therefore it
is easy to overview and to handle. Enter a unique ID for the plate and for the cDNA/mRNA
you are about to inject, and any other important information on your experiment that you
wish to save.
•
For managing high-throughput compound screens, enter compound names and
concentrations in the Liquid Handling spreadsheet. This information is linked to the
corresponding data traces and filed into the database.
•
Select the oocytes that you want to inject or record or load a (customizable) template.
•
Then simply start the injection (or recording) sequence by mouse click. The run will
proceed automatically until finished or interrupted by the user.
•
Information about the plate and the current state of all oocytes is displayed and updated
online on the screen.
•
You may save the well plate and load it later to proceed with your experiment or to review
and analyze your data.
•
Basic analysis features and export filters are included, for example P/n leak subtraction,
report functions, graphs.
The Roboocyte hardware
The Roboocyte is compatible with standard lab equipment and can be easily integrated in your
working environment. Software controls for setting the injection pressure or adjusting the
amplifier replace any knobs on the device. The Roboocyte is straightforward and easy to
operate; handling does not require special skills or special equipment.
Injection, recording, and cultivation of Xenopus oocytes is performed using disposable
standard 96 well plates, which are commercially available from several providers. The oocytes
are plated into the wells in a couple of minutes and can be kept for several days. They quickly
settle within the cone-shaped wells and adhere to the well bottom after a few hours. The
oocytes do not have to leave the plate anymore; you can easily transfer the oocytes from the
incubator to the Roboocyte and back again.
The well plate carrier, powered by linear motors, hovers smoothly and noise free on a
cushion of compressed air above the magnetic x/y table. The carrier operates at a
resolution of 20 µm. The complete system does not require maintenance other than occasional
cleaning of the steel plate.
The two vertically moving z-arms, one holding the injection needle, one the TEVC probe,
are designed specifically for the demand of high speed and precision. They move at a
resolution of 33 µm; position and speed are computer-controlled.
6
cDNA/mRNA Injection
The status display of the Roboocyte shows the current state of the Roboocyte and the
settings.
A quick adjustment process guarantees that the oocytes are injected precisely. The
cDNA/mRNA to be injected is filled into the injection pipette and then pushed into either the
nucleus or the cytoplasm by compressed air. Prepulled borosilicate glass micropipettes are
provided by Multi Channel Systems, but custom injection needles may also be used.
The ClampAmp is a specifically designed digital TEVC amplifier and is completely
automated. You do not need to adjust the gain or other settings. Ready to use TEVC probes
allow a quick and easy handling.
The integrated pinch valve system is an ideal perfusion system for drug receptor
characterizations and quick expression tests. The external suction pump is computer
controlled and works virtually pulsation-free, thus minimizing noise during recording.
For high throughput screens, the Roboocyte uses the approved technology of an industrystandard liquid handler.
The Roboocyte software
Operate the Roboocyte, collect and evaluate the data by using the Roboocyte software. The
easy-to-use graphical user interface of the Roboocyte software makes daily work with the
Roboocyte quick and easy. Injection or recording is started by a single mouse click. The
Roboocyte controls the run for all 96 oocytes automatically, even including a wash cycle. Thus
the recording can go on overnight, unsupervised.
You can define different experimental setups not only for different well plates, but also for
specific selections of wells on the same plate. You can even specify a different recording
sequence for each of the 96 oocytes. A P/n leak subtraction and several control features to
save time and compounds are provided. Start a wash cycle after a preset time period to
maintain a high viability of the cells. Link your own message strings to Roboocyte operations to
inform the user about the proceedings of a run. You can not only display messages, but also
replay text messages as sound.
Automated analysis features are included in the Roboocyte software, but you can export the
data to your custom evaluation software as well. You can graph the data and generate reports
with the Roboocyte software. The large amount of data generated by the Roboocyte can be
managed with a Microsoft Access database. The database can be accessed over a network by
multiple users.
How is this high degree of automation and flexibility for such a demanding task achieved?
This is possible by scripts, small text files containing commands. Users can write their own
scripts with any basic text editor. All experimental settings are defined within the script. You
can write a script for any kind of experimental setup. Once the appropriate script is loaded into
the Roboocyte software, simply click the Run button to start the robot. The script is then
performed without the need for further customization and supervision.
RSL, the Roboocyte Scripting Language, has been specifically designed for the Roboocyte. It
allows the full automation of various applications. For further information on the Roboocyte
Scripting Language, please refer to the separate Roboocyte Scripting Languagemanual or to
the RSL Parser Help.
7
Roboocyte User Manual
2.2.2 Scope of Delivery
Roboocyte, main device:
1
Roboocyte robot
1
Well plate carrier
1
Compressed air line (carrier to traverse)
1
Carrier to traverse connection cable
1
Power supply unit, 24 Volts, 90 Watts
1
Mains cable (country specific)
1
Ethernet crossover cable (for direct connection to the computer)
1
Standard Ethernet cable (for network connection)
1
Compressed air hoses: ID 4 mm, OD 6 mm (2 m) and ID 2.5, OD 4 mm (1 m)
1
Water separator
Valve stand and perfusion:
1
Valve stand (8 or 16 valves)
1
Connection cable (valve stand to traverse)
1
Waste hose with fittings (for connection to the perfusion outlet of the TEVC probe and to
the valve stand)
1
Aspiration pump with hoses and fittings
Set of tubing ID 0.8 mm, OD 1.6 mm with fittings, connected to a manifold:
2
8-channel manifold (R8System only)
1
8-channel manifold (R16System only)
1
16-channel manifold (R16System only)
Stereo microscope:
1
Stereo microscope with lights
1
Power supply unit with mains cable
1
Universal AC/DC adaptor
Computer:
1
DELL computer (min. 1.6 GHz frequency, min. 256 MB main memory, min. 40 GB hard
disk, 2 x 100 Mbit Ethernet connection, combined DVD drive /CD burner)
1
Keyboard
1
Mouse
1
17'' TFT screen
Software:
1
Windows XP Professional
1
CD Roboocyte software package
User manuals:
1
Roboocyte User Manual
1
Roboocyte Scripting Language Manual
Accessories:
1
Unit of needle holder, for needles with OD 1.0 mm: 1 needle holder 1.0 mm, 2
replacement seals, 2 O-rings
1
Unit of needle holder, for needles with OD 1.5 mm: 1 needle holder 1.5 mm, 2
replacement seals, 2 O-rings
1
Adjustment device for Greiner plates
1
Adjustment device for Nunc plates
1
Well plate Greiner with cut open well
1
Well plate Nunc with cut open well
10 Standard 96 well plates Greiner
8
cDNA/mRNA Injection
10
1
1
10
1
1
1
Standard 96 well plates Nunc
Oocyte filter
Forceps (for handling the connectors of the TEVC probe)
Small dishes with lids
Unit of 20 injection needles
Model test cell (for amplifier testing)
Unit TEVC probes
Optional:
1
Air compressor
2.3
Installing the Roboocyte
2.3.1 Setting Up the Roboocyte
→ Provide a power supply in the immediate vicinity of the installation site.
→ Provide a compressed air supply in the immediate vicinity of the installation site.
Arrangements
1. Place the Roboocyte on a rigid, stable, and vibration-free base in an air conditioned room.
2. Place the computer and its accessories next to it.
9
Roboocyte User Manual
2.3.2 Connecting the Roboocyte
Connect all cables as described below.
Warning: Carefully lay and secure the cords. Remember that someone could easily trip over a
loose cable.
Note: All electrical connections are clearly marked, and the plug coding prevents confusion.
The cords should be plugged in without the use of excessive force.
The following illustration shows the back panel of the Roboocyte.
Connecting the carrier
→ Plug the carrier connector into the according socket located on the Roboocyte's rear panel.
Warning: Confusion of the compressed air's inlet and outlet may destroy the device. Have a
close look at the preceding picture of the Roboocyte's rear panel and take care to connect
the lines properly.
Connecting the valve stand
1. Plug the female connector into the male socket of the valve stand.
2. Then plug the male valves connector into the female socket on the Roboocyte's back.
10
cDNA/mRNA Injection
Connecting the Roboocyte to the pressure line
1. Connect one end of the provided compressed air hose (ID 2.5 mm, OD 4 mm) to the water
separator.
2. Connect the other end to the compressed air inlet on the Roboocyte's rear panel.
3. Connect the other provided compressed air hose (ID 4 mm, OD 6 mm) to the provided water
separator.
4. Make sure that the pressure line is closed. Connect the free end of the provided compressed air
hose (ID 4 mm, OD 6 mm) to the pressure line.
5. Open the pressure line and apply a pressure of 5 to 10 bar.
Warning: Make sure that the compressed air used fulfills all requirements for working with
the Roboocyte. Otherwise, use of an improper compressed air could result in physical harm
to the hardware. Especially, check that the compressed air is absolutely free of water, oil,
and any particles. Refer to the chapter "Important Safety Advice" for more information.
Connecting the Roboocyte directly to the provided computer
→ Connect the Roboocyte directly to the provided computer by the provided crossover
Ethernet cable. The appropriate connector on the rear panel of the computer is tagged with
a "Roboocyte" label.
Connecting the Roboocyte to the power line
→ Finally, plug the power cord into the AC power line input.
Warning: If the air cannot circulate freely around the external power supply, the device may
overheat. Do not shield the power supply by laying anything on top of it. Make sure it is not
exposed to direct sunlight.
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Roboocyte User Manual
2.3.3 Setting Up the Gilson Liquid Handler
For high-throughput screens, the Roboocyte uses the advantages of an industry-standard liquid
handler from Gilson (optional).
1. Unpack and set up the Minipuls peristaltic pump and the Gilson 222 XL liquid handler
according to the descriptions in the Minipuls 3 Peristaltic Pump User’s Guide and the 221 and
222 XL Liquid Handlers User's Guide from Gilson. Please install the provided needle with the
bevelled tip if you are going to use the transfer ports.
2. Connect the Minipuls peristaltic pump to the GSIOC socket of the Gilson liquid handler with
the provided cable.
3. Connect the 25-pin RS232 port of the liquid handler to the Roboocyte's serial port with the
provided standard serial cable (see "Connecting the Roboocyte").
4. Connect the Minipuls peristaltic pump to the power line with the appropriate power cable.
5. Connect the power socket of the Gilson liquid handler to the power line with the appropriate
power cable.
Note: You have to enable the Gilson liquid handler in the General Settings dialog box of the
Roboocyte program to operate it under control of the Roboocyte program. See also "Defining
General Settings".
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
2.3.4 Setting Up the Aspiration Pump
The measuring head carries an inlet and outlet port for attaching the perfusion tubing. The
liquid is aspirated by the computer-controlled pump and then collected in the waste bottle.
→ Connect one port of the waste bottle to the perfusion outlet on the valve stand's rear panel.
→ Connect the other port to the input connector of the pump.
→ Connect the dummy tubing to the output connector of the pump. It is used to reduce the noise
level.
→ Plug the power cable into a power outlet.
You can now connect the perfusion inlet of the TEVC probe to the manifold and the perfusion
outlet to the waste hose.
2.3.5 Setting Up the Perfusion System
Important: You have to attach tubing to each channel of the manifold. That means, if you use
an eight-channel manifold, you have to connect eight tubes. Otherwise, the pressure of the
liquid will press fluid up to the unused channels of the manifold and this fluid may leak out.
You should fill all unused reservoirs with Frog's Ringer to avoid cross-contamination of
compound solutions.
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Roboocyte User Manual
Assembling the tubing
The pinch valve system is easy to maintain because the liquid is only in contact with the tubing
material and not with the valves. Simply exchange the tubing in case of contamination.
You need ID 1/32 (0.8 mm) OD 1/16 (1.6 mm) silicone tubing for the pinch valves. One set of
tubing is already provided for a quick start.
Please note that materials other than silicone are not flexible enough to seal tightly. If you
need another material for your application though, you can use the silicone tubing for the
short way inside the valve only and connect it to your custom tubing. Use fittings for 1/16 ID
tubing, they will fit very tightly. Also regard the tubing dimensions specified and do not use a
thicker or thinner tubing, otherwise the valves may not work properly or may even be
damaged.
1. Cut the tubing in pieces of the appropriate length (about 1 m), depending on the distance to
the reservoirs.
2. Connect one end of the tubing directly to the inlet nozzle of the manifold.
3. Put a connector (either a straight connector for connection to another tube or a fitting for
connection to the reservoirs) at the other end of each tube. The provided tubing set already
has straight connectors on the ends.
4. Connect the tubing to the reservoirs either directly or via another tube.
Attaching the tubing to the valves
The compound flow is regulated by 8 or 16
valves, R8System or R16System, respectively.
Only one valve may be open at a time. You
may open a valve by hand or by a software
command.
1. Take one end of tube and insert it gently
through the slot on the left side. Press the
valve with your fingertip to open it.
2. Proceed in this manner for all valves you are
going to use.
Connecting the Gilson liquid handler
→ Connect the peristaltic pump tubing to the transfer tube (connected to the needle of the liquid
handler) with the provided Tefzel adaptor.
→ Connect the other end of the peristaltic pump tubing to a tube that can later be connected to
the perfusion inlet of the TEVC probe.
Please refer to the Minipuls 3 Peristaltic Pump User’s Guide and the 221 and 222 XL Liquid
Handlers User's Guide from GILSON for more information.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
2.3.6 Installing the Software
System requirements
Software: One of the following Windows operating systems is required: Windows 2000 or
Windows XP (English version). Other language versions may lead to Roboocyte software
errors.
Hardware: A network interface (100 Mb Ethernet card) must be provided. (The communication
between the Roboocyte and the computer is via a network.)
Caution: You have acquired a high performance data acquisition and analysis computer. Do
not modify the system, do not install new hard- or software, or another operating system
without asking MCS or your local retailer for advice. Especially do not install virus scanners or
firewalls because these programs are known to interfere with the Roboocyte to computer
connection and with the data transfer. MCS cannot guarantee that a modified system is fully
operational. Even data loss may occur.
Switching on the connected computer
1. Power up the connected computer and wait until it is ready.
The Login dialog box appears.
2. Enter "mcs" both as the user name and as the user password. You do not have to enter an
administrator password. (You may change the passwords later, of course.)
The Windows desktop is displayed.
TCP/IP settings
It is recommended to connect
the Roboocyte directly to the
computer to avoid network
problems. The communication
between the Roboocyte and
the computer is via Ethernet.
You have to assign a fixed IP
address to the computer to
make the communication
work.
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Roboocyte User Manual
If you have a computer with two Ethernet cards, the one of the cards that is connected to the
Roboocyte has to be in the same workgroup than the Roboocyte (as described below). The
other Ethernet card has to be in a different group, that is, the IP address has to be different
from 192.168.1.NNN. For example, an IP address of 192.168.2.NNN would be allowed for the
second card. If both cards would be in the same workgroup, the computer would not be able
to connect to either the Roboocyte or to the company's network.
Note: If the network administrator recommends a different IP address for the Roboocyte, for
example because it is in conflict with the company's network, please contact your local retailer,
who will tell you how to change the Roboocyte's IP address.
1. Start the computer that is connected to the Roboocyte to change the computer's IP address.
2. Open the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box of your Windows operating
system.
3. Select the option Use the following IP address: and enter 192.168.1.NNN where NNN may
be any number excluding the IP address of the Roboocyte (usually 192.168.1.22.).
4. Enter 255.255.255.0 as the Subnet Mask.
5. Confirm by clicking OK.
Installing the Roboocyte software
The operating system Windows 2000 or XP and the Roboocyte software are already installed
on the provided computer. However, you may need to reinstall or update the Roboocyte
software on the same or another computer. Please check the system requirements if you are
going to install the software on another than the provided computer. MCS cannot guarantee
that the software works properly if these requirements are not fulfilled.
Important: Please make sure that you have full control over your computer as an
administrator. Otherwise, it is possible that the installed software does not work properly.
1. Double-click Setup.exe on the installation volume.
The installation assistant will show up and guide you through the installation procedure.
2. Follow the instructions of the installation assistant.
The Roboocyte software, the RSL Parser, and the Microsoft Access database file
(PlatesData.mdb) are installed on your computer.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
2.3.7 Linking to the Database
During the first installation, the Microsoft Access database file (PlatesData.mdb) is created in
the Roboocyte directory. If you prefer to work on a network drive or if you have several
computers with access to the database, you have to link the software from each connected
computer to the shared database.
With the Database Conversion Tool, you can also create a new database file (for example, if
file corruption has occurred), and move or rename the existing database file (for example,
move the database to a network location). The Database Conversion Tool wizard will lead
you through all necessary steps.
See also the Troubleshooting section in the Roboocyte Help for more information how to
repair a corrupted database.
Caution: MCS strongly recommends to backup your database in regular intervals to avoid data
loss. Use the Windows Explorer to copy the .mdb file to another hard drive or to a portable
volume. If a corruption of the database occurs, you can use the backup file for restoring the
database.
Important: Do not use the Windows Explorer to move, rename, or delete the database, as
this would result in data loss. If necessary, use only the provided Database Conversion Tool
for these actions.
Note: The Roboocyte program does only support Microsoft Access 2000. You will not need
Microsoft Access 2000 for running the Roboocyte program, but it is very convenient and
powerful for managing compounds and results.
Restoring the database link
1. Browse your folders and open the Roboocyte folder (default path: c:\Program Files\Roboocyte).
2. Double-click the DBConvert.exe file.
The Database Conversion Tool is started.
3. Select the appropriate database format.
4. Select the option Link to Existing Database and confirm by clicking OK.
The Choose Existing Database dialog box opens.
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Roboocyte User Manual
5. Browse your folders/network, select the appropriate database, and confirm by clicking Open.
The selected database is now linked to the Roboocyte software on this computer. Use the
Database Conversion Tool to link all connected computers to this database file.
Moving the database
You may want to move the database, for example from a local drive to a shared network area.
1. In the Database Conversion Tool dialog box, select the option Rename/Move Existing
Database and confirm by clicking OK.
2. Follow the instructions of the wizard.
The moved database is now linked to the Roboocyte software on this computer. Use the
Database Conversion Tool to link all connected computers to this database file.
Creating a new database file
Generally, it will not be necessary to create a new database, but you can use this option if you
observe file corruption.
1. In the Database Conversion Tool dialog box, select the option Create a New Database and
confirm by clicking OK.
2. Browse your folders/network, select the appropriate destination, and enter a name for the
database file.
The created database is now linked to the Roboocyte software on this computer. Use the
Database Conversion Tool to link all connected computers to this database file.
2.3.8 Starting the Roboocyte
Switching on the Roboocyte
→ Press the main switch on the back of the Roboocyte.
The Roboocyte is starting now. Follow the proceedings on the display and wait until the
Roboocyte is ready.
Starting the software
You may use the computer and the software offline (that is, the Roboocyte is switched off) to
review and analyze your recorded data. You can switch from offline to online mode, when the
Roboocyte is switched on later. However, if you start the software to operate the Roboocyte,
the easiest way is to start the Roboocyte first and then start the software.
Important: Please make sure that you have full control over your computer as an
administrator. Otherwise, it is possible that the Roboocyte program does not work properly.
1. Double-click the Roboocyte icon on the desktop.
— OR —
Select Roboocyte from the Start menu.
The Roboocyte software starts in Injection mode.
2. If the Roboocyte is offline (indicated by a gray status lamp next to the toolbar), switch the
Roboocyte on, wait until it is ready, and click Offline Mode on the File menu.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
Aligning the well plate carrier
The carrier moves the well plate over the magnetic x/y table. For a
smooth and proper movement, it is crucial that the table is kept dry
and clean, and the carrier is set properly on the table.
1. Clean the x/y table with a soft tissue and pure alcohol.
2. Align the carrier to the grid on the table by hand.
Note: A movement of the carrier is possible only when the Roboocyte
is switched on and the software is running. Also make sure that the
compressed air pressure is high enough.
Warning: Do not use aqueous solutions and/or cleaning agents for cleaning the magnetic x/y
table. Otherwise, the carrier and/or the x/y table can be damaged. Always make sure that the
carrier is aligned to the grid. Otherwise, a correct movement is not possible.
2.3.9
Defining General Settings
1. On the Extras menu, click General Options.
The General Options dialog box is displayed.
2. Select the options according to your setup. For example, enable the Gilson liquid handler and
select the default well plate type.
3. Click OK.
See also "General Options" in the "General Software Features" section.
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Roboocyte User Manual
3
cDNA/mRNA Injection
3.1
About cDNA/mRNA Injection with the Roboocyte
Manual injection is often a limiting factor in high-throughput screens. The Roboocyte injects
Xenopus oocytes in a fully automated way.
The cDNA/mRNA to be injected is filled into the injection pipette and then pushed into either
the nucleus or the cytoplasm by compressed air. This simple mechanism works efficiently and
can be automated. Manual injection setups typically use the positive displacement method for
injection. This system has the advantage that you can apply a precise volume, but on the other
hand, it consumes a lot of space and cannot be easily automated. You will soon realize that the
absolute volume is not important for achieving a good expression rate. The performance of the
construct and of the oocytes is much more important.
The overall expression rate you can achieve with the Roboocyte system is 80 percent of the
oocytes.
Injection needles are pulled from standard borosilicate glass capillaries using a standard pipette
puller. MCS provides injection needles for you, but the standard pipette holder allows you to
use your own custom needles as well.
3.2
Strategies for a Successful Injection
Modifying the injection depth
The injection distance for cDNA is preset to 300 µm (from the bottom of the well). This
distance has been shown as the optimum value for the Roboocyte. The overall expression rate
you can achieve by this method is 80 percent of the oocytes. You can define your own injection
depth, but we recommend using the default value in order to achieve the best expression rate.
You may wonder why the cDNA is injected so deeply while the nucleus is known to be located
near the animal pole. As it seems, the nucleus is pressed down by the injection needle until the
built-up pressure is sufficient for the needle to penetrate the membrane of the nucleus.
Messenger RNA is injected into the cytoplasm. Generally, it is not important where in the
cytoplasm the RNA is released. The default injection distance for mRNA is 800 µm (from the
bottom). This is a safe value even for smaller oocytes.
→ On the Extras menu, click Settings to change the injection depth.
Hint: You can define the injection depth in the injection script as well. For example, you can
run a test sequence with varying distances (for example a different parameter for each row) to
show the relationship of injection depth and expression rate. Refer to the documentation on
the Roboocyte Scripting Language for more information.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
Running a test injection with a dye
To demonstrate the precision of the injection and to practise the general handling, you may
consider running a test injection with the dye Trypan Blue, which stains proteins unspecifically,
before you start to inject your constructs. Injected oocytes are then torn open with forceps,
thus releasing the complete, stained nucleus. You should expect a high hit rate (over 90 %).
1. Dissolve Trypan Blue in distilled water. The solution should appear bright blue.
2. Remove any particles with a 0.22 µm syringe filter (or similar).
Continue with chapter "Preparations Before an Injection". You can then use this dye solution
to mimic cDNA. The dye solution has a low viscosity. Therefore, the injection pressure can be
set lower than for a "real" injection. If you have successfully performed the test or if you prefer
to start your first experiment under real conditions, you can right away start to use your cDNA
or mRNA. You may consider the test injection again if you observe any troubles. See also
"Troubleshooting".
The following pictures show injected oocytes. In the left picture, the penetration site of the
needle is clearly visible in the middle of the animal pole. (If you use fine injection needles like
the ones provided by MCS, the needle may leave no mark at all.) The right picture shows an
opened oocyte. Only the nucleus is stained, showing that the nucleic membrane is still intact
and therefore impermeable for the dye.
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Roboocyte User Manual
3.3
Preparations for Injection
Generally, you can use cDNA/mRNA concentrations and injection volumes as described in the
literature or as applicable for your experiment. In the following, typical cDNA/mRNA
concentrations and recommended treatment of the sample are described. Please follow this
advice if you are new to the Roboocyte or if you have observed trouble with the injection
process.
You will also need the provided stereo microscope and adjustment device (with crosshairs) for
the adjustment of the injection needle.
Note: The cDNA or mRNA sample has to be very clean and pure to obtain good results. Any
particles, dirt, dust, and so on could clog the needle. Even if you obtain good results with a
manual injection setup, this is no evidence that the sample is pure enough to work with the
Roboocyte, because the Roboocyte operates with a lower injection pressure than other
standard injection setups. Please check the sample for protein contaminations, cellular debris,
residues of the extraction kit, or a high salt content.
Checking the oocytes
You need oocytes plated in standard 96 well plates. You should only use very good oocytes.
Make sure that all oocytes are positioned with the animal pole (dark side) up. The oocytes will
have adhered to the well bottom after about 2 to 3 hours. Do not use the cells before. Best
results have been obtained if oocytes have been incubated over night before use. See also
"Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes" in the Appendix.
cDNA/mRNA Concentration and storage
•
Depending on the efficiency of protein expression, about 30–150 ng of cDNA (about 100-750
ng of mRNA) is sufficient to express the desired receptor in all 96 oocytes.
•
A typical cDNA sample has a concentration of 10–50 ng/µl, a typical mRNA sample has a
concentration of about 50–300 ng/µl.
•
A typical injection volume would be 4–5 µl per plate, that gives you about 40–50 nl per oocyte.
•
DNA/RNA should be stored in sterile 0.5 ml or 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes (or similar) at –20 °C.
•
Highly concentrated stock solution should be diluted with distilled water before use. Do not
use saline solutions because salt crystals may form during injection and may cause the needle
to clog.
Preparing the sample for injection
1. Take the sample out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before the injection.
2. Let it stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
The sample should be completely defrosted before use.
3. Mix the sample thoroughly, for example by vortexing for a short moment, or manually by
striking the side of the tube with a finger.
4. Centrifuge the sample for 5 min at 2000 g immediately before the injection to remove any
remaining particles that might clog the needle.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
3.4
Setting Up the Well Plate
For setting up and starting an injection, make sure you are currently in Injection mode.
→ Click the Injection tab.
The corresponding panes are displayed. The well plate info and well plate view display
information about the currently active plate. The menu bar and the toolbar automatically
refer to Injection mode now. For example, when you use the Select Oocytes command, you
automatically select oocytes for injection.
Note: If you have not opened a file yet, that is, the well plate view remains blank, you have to
set up a plate first. You can only work with the Roboocyte after you have set up your virtual
well plate. The first issue is either to create a new file or to open a previously saved file.
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Roboocyte User Manual
Creating a new file
1. Click New File
either on the toolbar or on the File menu.
The Plate Info dialog box opens, where you may fill in all information you want to associate
with this well plate, for example the oocyte batch, name of the operator, and so on.
2. Type the Plate ID and the cDNA/mRNA you are about to inject. (This is necessary even if you
do not want to inject the oocytes, for example for a test recording. Enter at least one
character.)
3. (Optional) Type further information about the experiment in the ID and/or Comment box.
4. The actual date is already preselected, but may be changed by clicking the small button on the
right side of the Injection Date box.
5. Click OK when you are finished.
The Save As dialog box is displayed. The plate ID is also the suggested file name.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
6. Choose another file destination and/or rename the file, if necessary.
7. Click Save.
The Plate Info pane on the bottom left of the injection window displays the file information.
The Comment may be edited directly in this window; the text in the other boxes may not be
altered anymore to avoid confusion and mistakes.
The Well Plate pane on the top right of the screen shows your virtual well plate. The view will
be updated in real-time according to the current state of your real well plate.
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Roboocyte User Manual
Opening a previously saved file
If you want to inject the same plate again, record data from an injected plate, or review
previously recorded data, open the appropriate well plate file.
1. Click Open
either on the toolbar or on the File menu.
The Open dialog box appears.
2. Browse your folders and select the Roboocyte file (*.rcd) you want to open.
3. Click Open.
In the Injection window, the Well Plate Pane shows the state of the plate; and the Plate Info
shows all saved information about the plate. (If you already have recorded data, swap to the
Recording mode or the Recordings Display to review the data.)
3.5
Selecting Oocytes for Injection
The well plate view on the top right of the main window depicts the plate.
A light grey background indicates that the corresponding oocyte has not been selected for
injection yet.
The well plate view only shows the current state of the plate, and you cannot alter the
selection of the wells by clicking on this window.
1. On the Plate menu, click Select Oocytes.
OR
Double-click the icon in the left corner of the well plate view.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
2. Now click the oocytes you want to select for injection. To cancel a selection, simply click a
selected oocyte once more.
Selected oocytes appear on a dark grey background. The token INJ shows that the oocyte is
selected for injection.
3. Click OK if you have finished your selection.
In the example shown, the right half of the well plate has been selected for injection. Well H12
has not been selected because this is the adjustment well, where the adjustment device has to
be placed. (You can change the adjustment well in the General Options dialog box.)
3.6
Changing the Well Plate and Loading the Needle
You will need the cDNA/mRNA sample and an injection needle. You can reuse injection needles
several times as long as they are not clogged or damaged.
You will also need the provided stereo microscope and the provided adjustment device (with
crosshairs) in order to position the well plate horizontally and vertically as well as the injection
needle before you start the injection.
The Adjustment wizard will lead you through all necessary steps, including defining the
settings for the injection, for example the pressure and time.
Note: Make sure that all oocytes have had time to settle for several hours and are positioned in
the well with the animal pole (dark side) up. See also "Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes" in the
Appendix.
Warning: Do not move the z-axis by hand while installing the injection needle. In all cases,
perform an adjustment after you have replaced the needle or the well plate.
.
1. Make sure you are in Injection mode. On the Plate menu, click Adjustment
The Needle / Plate Change dialog box appears. All axes move to the reference positions.
2. If the injection needle you like to install is more than 1 mm longer than the old one or the
length of your injection needles varies usually more than 1 mm, click Reset to reset the Coarse
Pos Distance (distance between needle tip and adjustment device). Otherwise, you will crash
the needle during the adjustment.
3. Change the well plate if necessary.
4. Click Move Axis.
The left z-axis moves down.
5. Load the injection needle.
6. Attach the injection needle to the z-axis.
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Roboocyte User Manual
7. Click Next.
The Adjustment dialog box opens. A coarse adjustment will take place automatically.
Afterward, you have to fine-tune the adjustment manually.
Changing the well plate
Skip this section if you want to inject the same well plate again.
1. Click Move Carrier.
The carrier moves forward.
2. If necessary, remove the old well plate from the carrier.
3. Take a well plate from the type you specified in the General Options dialog box. Place it onto
the carrier and press its side against the spring in the lower right corner of the carrier. Then put
the rest of the plate down onto the carrier.
It should fit tightly and immovably now.
4. If necessary, fill the two small dishes with Frog Ringer's solution (or similar). You will need it to
measure the electrode impedance and to park the measuring head after the recording.
5. Put the adjustment device (with crosshairs) in well H12 (or in the well you specified in
General Settings).
6. Click Move Carrier again.
The carrier moves backward.
Loading the injection needle
1. Use a pipette to fill a fine tip (for example Microloader) with the DNA/RNA sample. Make sure
you remove the liquid from the top of the sample. Do not touch the bottom of the
tube with the pipette tip to avoid sucking up any residues.
2. Load the sample into the blunt end of the injection needle, moving the pipette tip as deep as
possible, and slowly withdrawing the tip during the process.
3. Remove air bubbles by whipping the needle with the hand.
It is not necessary that the tip of the needle is filled at this stage. The tip will be filled when the
pressure is applied.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
Installing the injection needle
1. Screw the provided injection needle holder that fits to the outer diameter of your needle (1
mm or 1.5 mm) on the left z-axis of the Roboocyte. Make sure the black O-ring is present
between z-axis and holder. Make also sure it fits tightly, otherwise the pressure may decrease
during injection.
2. Unscrew the cap a bit, but not completely.
3. Carefully insert the needle into the holder. Make sure it goes through the red seal and as far
up as possible.
4. Tighten the cap again.
Resetting the Coarse Pos Distance
During the adjustment process, the z-axis is moved automatically to the last adjustment
position minus a safety distance of 1 mm (so called Coarse Pos). When using a needle that is
more than 1 mm longer than the one used last time, there is a risk that the needle will get
crashed. You should reset the memorized Coarse Pos Distance in this case. The z-axis will
then not move down during the automatic coarse positioning and the needle will be safe.
→ Click Reset.
3.7
Adjustment
You have to adjust the position of the carrier and the needle under microscopic control. The
Roboocyte always moves relative to a standard position. The aim of the adjustment process is
to define this standard position. If this is not done properly, the Roboocyte moves to wrong
positions. The adjustment process also compensates for minor changes in the dimensions of
different well plates and variations in the length of the needle/probe. To achieve a high hit
rate, it is essential to perform an adjustment each time before you start an injection or
recording sequence.
Note: The adjustment is very important for obtaining best results. An adjustment is strongly
recommended each time before you start an injection or recording. It is very important that
the glass capillaries are centered on the adjustment device. Otherwise, the oocytes are not
properly hit.
Warning: Hitting the adjustment device can cause the injection needle to shatter, possibly
projecting splinters, which can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and this
adjustment should never be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
1. Switch to Fast. The movement of the z-axis and the carrier commanded by the software
controls will now be fast.
2. Move the z-axis by pressing the PAGE UP/DOWN keys and the carrier by pressing the arrow
keys on the keyboard, or by clicking the according buttons on the Adjustment dialog box
until the needle/probe is almost centered on the adjustment device.
3. Switch to Slow. The movement will now be carried out in small single steps.
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Roboocyte User Manual
4. Fine-tune the position until the adjustment device is almost touched by the tip of the needle. If
you do this the first time, you may have difficulties seeing the needle three-dimensionally. The
needle may appear to be centered correctly, but instead the needle is still a way above the
adjustment device and shifted to the front. If you do not feel sure about this, lower the needle
slowly and carefully until it actually touches the device. The fine tip should not break easily.
Then, move it up again one step to optimize the position. However, you will see that after a bit
of experience, the adjustment is performed very quickly and without trouble.
If you need to start the adjustment again, for example if you have moved the carrier
accidentally by hand, click Back and Next to restart the adjustment process from step 1.
5. Click Next.
The current position is saved, and the old adjustment position is overwritten. All following
movements relate to the new position now.
The Pressure Test dialog box opens. The carrier moves back to its starting position. Keep the
microscope in place to adjust the pressure for an injection.
Warning: Do not click Next if the adjustment has not been finished. This could lead to
wrong movements of the Roboocyte, which are potentially hazardous. If you want to cancel
the adjustment, leave this dialog box by clicking Cancel or Back.
You can now set the pressure and injection time.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
3.8
Setting the Pressure and Injection Time
Usually, an amount of 4–5 µl per well plate, that is, about 40–50 nl per oocyte, is sufficient
(depending, of course, on the concentration and characteristics of the cDNA/mRNA). If you
believe that the injected volume has not been sufficient, you can select the oocytes again,
adjust the pressure in the Settings dialog box (on the Extras menu), and inject the well plate
again.
When you are going to use a new cDNA/mRNA sample, you will have to try out the injected
volume you need to achieve a good expression rate. You will soon find out that it is not
necessary to specify a very exact amount for a successful gene expression.
Control the injected volume visually each time before you start an injection of a plate by using
the controls in the Adjustment wizard or in the Settings dialog box. You can try out
different settings for different rows of the well plate to optimize the expression rate.
Estimation of the injected volume
You can estimate the size of the drop of liquid with the ocular scale of the provided
microscope and then calculate the volume with the formula V = 4·π·r3/3. One fine division of the
ocular scale matches 33 µm. The following tables show the number of divisions and the approximate
resulting volume. Please note that these values can show the order of magnitude, but cannot be
understood as absolute values, because this method of measuring a length is not very accurate,
and the drop will not be a perfect sphere. The accuracy is high enough for this application,
though. The usually used injection volume range is highlighted in bold.
Division
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
0.02
0.15
0.5
1
2
4
7
10
14
19
Division
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Volume (nl)
26
34
43
53
65
79
95
113
133
155
Volume (nl)
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Roboocyte User Manual
Injection pressure and time
The following illustration gives you an idea of the injection volume depending on the
parameters injection time and injection pressure. These values have been estimated with a
microscope equipped with a scale. The volume has been calculated from the diameter of the
drop. The measurement has been made with pure water and an injection needle with a 8µmtip provided by MCS. Please note that the behaviour of the liquid changes under real
conditions, because of the higher viscosity of the DNA/RNA solution. On the other hand, the
injection volume applied to the oocyte is generally a bit higher than it is in the air, because in
air, water has a higher surface tension.
Hint: Mark the fill height with a water-resistant pen. You can then easily estimate the amount
of DNA/RNA injected per plate.
Note: The absolute injection volume is not as important as you may think. Simply optimize the
volume by trying out different pressure settings and check the expression rate. You will get a
feeling for the proper volume soon.
Optimizing the injection pressure and time
1. Under microscopic control, click Hld Pressure to apply the holding pressure.
2. Adjust the holding pressure by turning the left wheel with your mouse until a small droplet
appears at the tip of the needle. The pressure should be as high as possible in a range that no
liquid flows out of the needle. The holding pressure depends on the tip diameter of the needle
and on the consistency of the sample. A typical holding pressure would be 0.1–0.2 bar.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
3. Click Injection Shot to manually apply the injection pressure. (You can only apply injection
pressure when the holding pressure has been applied first.)
The injection pressure is now applied for the specified injection time.
At the tip of the needle, a droplet of liquid should be visible to the naked eye. Under the
microscope, you see it as a big ball hanging on the side of the fine tip. If it is not visible, the
pressure is too low, or the needle may be blocked (due to dried out liquid at the tip, for
example).
If blockage occurs, set the injection pressure high (3 bar) and click Inj Pressure until the
blockage has been removed and the droplet is visible. If it still does not appear, use a new
needle.
4. Control the size of the droplet by using the ocular scale of the microscope. The volume should
be in the range of 40–100 nl, that is, 13 to 17 fine divisions of the ocular scale.
5. Use the mouse to turn the right wheel to adjust the injection pressure, and modify the
injection time, until the droplet has the appropriate size. A typical injection pressure would
be 2–3 bar, with an injection time of 3–4 s.
6. Remove the droplet by blowing at the needle and check the holding pressure again.
A small droplet should appear if the needle is still free. You may want to lower the holding
pressure then to save solution. But do not lower it too much. If the holding pressure is too low,
the needle may get blocked.
7. Confirm the settings and leave the adjustment dialog by clicking Finish.
The carrier and the z-axis move to the starting position.
8. Remove the adjustment device and the microscope.
When you have performed the adjustment and controlled the pressure and injection time, you
are now ready to start the injection.
Hint: You can switch from the injection script to the Test mode and modify the injection
pressure and time during the execution of the script, for example, if you have the impression
that the pressure is too low or the needle has been blocked. See the RSL Parser Help or the
Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
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Roboocyte User Manual
3.9
Starting the Injection
Warning: Always make sure that a proper adjustment has been made immediately before
starting the injection, and that you have not moved the carrier by hand or changed the
needle afterward. Also, make sure that a valid script has been loaded and that it has been
set up properly. Wrong movements of the z-axis and the carrier can cause the glass
capillaries of the injection needle / TEVC probe to shatter, possibly projecting splinters, which
can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and the injection sequence should never
be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
•
To start the injection, simply click the Start
button on the toolbar or on the Run menu.
You can load a custom script as well, but in most cases, the provided injection script will be
sufficient.
The holding pressure is applied first, and then the injection sequence starts. The injection
sequence specified in the chosen script will be executed for all selected oocytes.
•
The injection pressure is applied when the needle moves down if you use the new standard
injection script. Visually check if the needle is blocked during injection from time to time.
•
Use the Pause
necessary.
•
You cannot adjust the pressure or change the needle while the injection is in progress or is
and Stop
buttons on the toolbar to interrupt the measurement, if
paused, you have to Stop
the run first. You may continue the run at the point where it
was interrupted by clicking the Start button once more.
The well plate view shows the progress of the cycle online; already finished oocytes are
marked as injected by a black triangle
. Customizable messages that comment the cycle
are displayed in the Message Log. In addition, you can replay customizable sound messages
that keep you informed. Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
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cDNA/mRNA Injection
When the injection sequence is completely finished, all oocytes will be marked as injected and
the message "==>script execution finished" will be displayed. Usually, an amount of 1.5–2.5 µl
per well plate, that is, about 30–50 nl per oocyte, is sufficient (depending, of course, on the
concentration and characteristics of the DNA/RNA). If you think that the injected volume has
not been sufficient, you can adjust the pressure, perform a new adjustment, and inject the well
plate again.
Note: The pressure command in the standard injection script applies the injection pressure
before the needle moves down into the oocyte. The pressure is then changed back to holding
pressure when the needle moves up. This costs a bit more RNA/DNA solution but prevents
clogging of the needle. Visually check the needle during injection. Liquid should pour out of
the tip when the needle moves down. If this is not the case, the needle is probably clogged and
should be replaced. Always perform an adjustment and check the pressure after you have
replaced the needle.
3.10 Resetting the State of an Oocyte
Use the command Reset Well Selection to change the state of an oocyte manually (for
example, if an injection has not been successful). You can only change the state of oocytes one
by one; you cannot select whole rows, for example.
1. On the Extras menu, click Reset Well Selection.
The Reset Well Selection dialog box is displayed.
2. Right-click an oocyte and select an oocyte icon from the context menu.
— OR —
Click an oocyte several times until it has the required state. The icon is swapped each time you
click the oocyte.
3.11 Saving the Well Plate
After the run has been completed or stopped, the file including the well plate status, file info,
and comments is saved automatically to the destination you have specified when you created
the file. Therefore, the Save command is not available after a run has been finished. If you add
a comment, however, you may save the file again.
→ Click the Save button
on the toolbar to save the file.
35
4
TEVC Recording
4.1
About TEVC Recording with the Roboocyte
The small-sized digital TEVC amplifier is integrated within the Roboocyte and fully computercontrolled. It operates either in true current clamp or voltage clamp mode and uses a PI based
technique. The ClampAmp records up to ± 32 µA of current, and the 16-bit A/D-conversion
results in an overall resolution of 1 nA. The sampling frequency of up to 2 kHz guarantees
high-performance data acquisition of fast signals. The ClampAmp features a short rise time of 1
ms and an exact voltage clamp for high-quality data from voltage-gated channels as well as
from ligand-activated receptors.
The recording sequence of each single oocyte can be flexibly designed exactly to your
requirements. You can include threshold values to trigger recording sequences, depending on
the response of the oocyte. Automated controls identify unhealthy oocytes to eliminate
unnecessary recordings. Refer to the documentation on the Roboocyte Scripting Language to
learn more about the full range of scripting features.
The recorded data is displayed and analyzed in real-time. Raw data can be reviewed and
evaluated offline with the Roboocyte software, and also exported to custom analysis software.
For managing the large amount of data generated by the Roboocyte and the huge number of
compounds tested, all results, compounds, and parameters are linked to a Microsoft Access
database.
4.2
TEVC Probe Design
The impalement of the oocyte for recording is fast, precise, and gentle, so minimizing cell
damage. Repeated impalements of a single oocyte are possible. Simply connect the TEVC probe
to the z-arm and the perfusion manifold and you are ready to go.
We recommend using the ready-made measuring heads supplied by MCS, because it is a bit
tricky and needs experience to build them. If you prefer to use your own, however, it is
strongly recommended that you use blank measuring heads from MCS. You may then fix your
own capillaries, perfusion tubing, and silver wire to the mounting support. After filling the
glass electrodes with electrolyte, the probe is ready to use. It can be stored overnight and
reused several times, as long as it is not damaged or shows malfunctions. We recommend
replacing a measuring head about once a week. The probe design is shown in detail in the
following illustrations.
Important: The recommended electrode resistance is in the range of 100 kilohms to 1 megohm.
The resistance may increase over time, but should not exceed the recommended range.
Otherwise, the TEVC amplifier may not work properly.
Warning: Use only a well-chlorided silver wire for all electrodes. Use a diameter of 0.4 mm
(15 mil) if you plug the wire directly into the connectors of the z-axis in order to avoid
damaging the z-axis. We recommend the use of the provided connectors for a better
handling.
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Roboocyte User Manual
Front view
The synthetic body of the probe holds two pre-pulled and pre-positioned intracellular glass
microelectrodes (resistance ca. 300 kOhm when filled with 3 M KCl), two leads for Ag/AgCl
wires (the voltage reference electrode and the current ground path each require one bath
electrode, respectively), and two PTFE tubes for the perfusion in- and outlet. The perfusion
inlet leads to a manifold that is connected either to the pinch valve system or to the external
liquid handler. A suction pump aspirates the fluid via the outlet and leads it to the waste
receptacle. The design of the measuring head ensures a steady and pulse-free flow.
Cross-section view
38
TEVC Recording
Side view
Detailed view
The lengths specified in the illustration are optimized average values, which demonstrate good
criteria for a steady and pulse-free flow as well as minimum damage to the cell. The values
cannot be stated more precisely, because they depend on the exact dimensions of the glass
capillaries. Most capillaries are not concentric, so you have to turn them until the distances fit.
The distance of 1 mm between the tip opening of the electrode (depicted in green) and the
perfusion inlet tube (blue) and the distance of 3 mm between the perfusion tubes are more
important than the absolute lengths. The distance between the tips of the two measuring
electrodes should not exceed 500 µm to minimize cell damage.
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Roboocyte User Manual
The two reference AgCl wires should be bent lateral to the outside as much as possible. The
end of the suction tubing (depicted in orange color) of the TEVC probe must be positioned
towards the middle of the well as much as possible, that is towards the glass capillaries.
Otherwise, the surface tension of liquid between the suction tube and the wall of the well
leads to an unsteady perfusion.
4.3
P/n Leak Subtraction
You can perform a leak subtraction by running a classical P/n protocol, which is generally useful
for studying voltage-gated channels.
When using a P/n protocol, a number of n leak pulses are generated and applied to the oocyte
before the test pulse sequence. The leak pulses should not reach the activation level of the
channels, and thus are scaled down to 1/n of the original pulse amplitude. The current
responses of the oocyte to the n leak pulses are then summed up to a theoretical passive
response of the oocyte to the test sequence. This calculated curve is then subtracted from the
real response, leaving only the active part of the response.
The nearer you choose the leak pulse to the original pulse, that is, the smaller n is, the better is
the signal-to-noise ratio. But you have to be sure that the leak pulses do not reach the
activation level of the channels you want to study. The classical P/n protocol is P/4.
You can choose the holding potential from which leak pulses are generated. For example, you
can choose a lower potential than for the original voltage step protocol to stay safely below
the activation level.
You define the settings for the leak subtraction in the recording script. See the RSL Parser Help
or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information. The leak pulses are
displayed in real-time. Even if you have implemented the leak subtraction, you can later choose
not to use it for offline analysis.
40
TEVC Recording
There are four leak subtraction types available (see illustration below).
•
Standard (type 0)
•
Reversed polarity (type 1): Mirrors the voltage steps, using the starting potential.
•
Alternating polarity (first original polarity, second reversed) (type 2): Alternates the polarity of
the voltage steps, starting with the normal polarity. The second sweep has reversed polarity,
the next original, and so on.
•
Alternating polarity (first reversed polarity, second original) (type 3): Same as type 2, but
starting with the reversed polarity. (not shown in the illustration)
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Roboocyte User Manual
In the following example, the test model cell has been used to demonstrate the leak
subtraction. The first screen shot shows the original voltage steps. The second screen shot
shows the data after leak subtraction has been applied. You see that all signals have been
completely removed, because the test model cell has no active response. The capacitive
artifacts are still visible, but have also been reduced.
42
TEVC Recording
4.4
Preparations for Recording
Recording with the Roboocyte is easy, but nevertheless, we recommend that you make a few
test recordings with non-injected oocytes and the provided sample recording script
First_RecordingScript.rsl before you start your real applications. In this way, you will get
experience with the general handling of the device without actually wasting compounds and
DNA/RNA samples. You will not need a perfusion for a first test recording either. You will need
the following at hand for recording. In the following tutorial, screen shots from recordings
with non-injected oocytes are shown.
You can also run a test recording with the model test cell first. For example, use the sample
script Voltage Step Protocol - Test Model Cell.rsl in the Script subfolder of the Roboocyte
folder. In this case, you can ignore the "Adjustment" chapter. The information in the other
chapters applies.
•
Measuring head: We recommend using a ready-made measuring head provided by MCS,
especially for new Roboocyte users. You can use custom-built measuring heads as well, but you
may observe problems if the design of the measuring head does not follow the required
specifications. See "TEVC Probe Design" for details.
•
Electrolyte solution for filling the glass electrodes of the measuring head. Recommended
solutions are 1.5 M KAc, 1 M KCl, pH 7.2 or 3 M KCl. The disadvantages of the pure KCl
solution are the behavior of the salt crystallizing very quickly and the high amount of Cl ions in
the solution. The KAc/KCl solution does not tend to crystallize, which is an advantage for
storing the measuring head over night. You may want to vary the KCl concentration of the
KAc/KCl solution for optimizing your experiments. We have used concentrations in a range
from 0.1 M to 1 M KCl. Please keep in mind that the electrode impedance increases with a
decreased ion concentration in the electrolyte.
•
Frog Ringer's solution (or similar) for filling the two small dishes on the well plate carrier.
•
Oocytes plated in a provided standard 96 well plate (do not have to be injected for a test
recording).
•
Provided stereo microscope and adjustment device (with crosshairs) for the adjustment of the
TEVC probe.
•
(If you like to use perfusion, which is not necessary for a test recording, you can fill the
reservoirs with frog Ringer's solution and compounds.)
Checking the oocytes
You should only use very good oocytes. Make sure that all oocytes are positioned with the
animal pole (dark side) up. The oocytes will have adhered to the well bottom after about 2 to 3
hours. Do not use the cells before. Best results have been obtained if oocytes have been
incubated over night before use. It is not necessary to wash oocytes before recording. In fact, it
does not make much sense, because you will usually perfuse with Ringer's solution during the
recording sequence. See also "Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes" in the Appendix.
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Roboocyte User Manual
Reusing a TEVC probe
A TEVC probe can be reused several times. It has to be replaced approximately twice a week,
depending on the amount of impaled oocytes and the oocyte performance. It seems that bad
oocytes tend to clog the recording electrodes more easily than oocytes of a very good quality.
Store the probe installed and hanging in the air over night. Before reusing the probe, it should
be immersed in Barth's solution or Frog's Ringer for several minutes to remove salt crystal
deposits (Resistance Pos or Park Position). Salt crystals persisting on the outer side of the
capillaries can be removed by rinsing with distilled water. Please try out 1.5 M KAc, 1 M KCl,
pH 7.2 for filling the electrodes if you have severe problem with salt deposits.
1. Make sure the left dish on the carrier is filled with Barth's solution or frog Ringer's solution.
Remove the lid of the dish.
2. On the Run menu, click Park Position or press F10.
3. Leave the probe immersed in the fluid for about five minutes.
The probe is now ready to use.
4.5
Setting Up the Well Plate
For setting up and starting a recording, make sure you are currently in Recording (or Test)
mode.
→ Click the Recording tab.
The corresponding panes are displayed. The Data Plot shows the recorded data in real-time.
The Long Term Plot has an oscilloscope-like function. You can visually control the DC offset
correction, the cell viability, the leak current, and so on. The well plate view shows the
current state of the oocytes.
Note: If you have not opened a file yet, that is, the well plate view remains blank, you have to
set up a plate first. You can only work with the Roboocyte after you have set up your virtual
well plate. The first issue is either to create a new file or to open a previously saved file.
44
TEVC Recording
→ Open a previously saved well plate or create a new file. Please refer to the chapter "Setting Up
the Well Plate" in the "cDNA/mRNA Injection" section for detailed information how to open or
create a file.
4.6
Selecting Oocytes for Recording
The well plate view on the top right of the main window depicts the virtual well plate.
A light grey background indicates that the corresponding oocyte has not been selected yet.
Typically, you will record an injected plate. Injected oocytes are marked by a black triangle.
The well plate view only shows the current state of the plate, and you cannot alter the
selection of the wells by clicking on this window.
1. On the Plate menu, click Select Oocytes.
OR
Double-click the icon in the left corner of the well plate view.
2. Now click the oocytes you want to select for recording. To cancel a selection, simply click a
selected oocyte once more.
Selected oocytes appear on a dark grey background. The token REC shows that an oocyte is
selected for recording.
3. Click OK if you have finished your selection.
In the example shown, the right half of the well plate has been selected for injection. Well H12
has not been selected because this is the adjustment well, where the adjustment device has to
be placed. (You can change the adjustment well in the General Options dialog box.)
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Roboocyte User Manual
4.7
Changing the Well Plate and the TEVC Probe
You will need a measuring head and 3 M KCl solution. You can reuse TEVC probes several times
as long as they are not damaged or show malfunctions. We recommend replacing the probe
about once a week.
After filling the glass electrodes with KCl solution, the probe is ready to use. Make sure that
there are no air bubbles in the capillaries. Attach the four silver wires to the amplifier via the
provided connectors. The perfusion inlet leads to a manifold that is connected either to the
pinch valve system or to the external liquid handler. A suction pump aspirates the fluid via the
outlet and leads it to the waste receptacle. The probe design ensures a steady and pulse-free
flow. See also chapter "TEVC Probe Design".
You will also need the provided stereo microscope and the provided adjustment device (with
crosshairs) in order to position the well plate horizontally and vertically as well as the
measuring head before you start the recording.
The Adjustment wizard will lead you through all necessary steps, including defining the
recording settings, for example the sampling rate.
Important: Make sure that all oocytes have had time to settle for several hours and are
positioned in the well with the animal pole (dark side) up. See also "Preparation of Xenopus
Oocytes" in the Appendix.
Warning: Do not move the z-axis by hand while connecting the TEVC probe. In all cases,
perform an adjustment after you have replaced the probe or the well plate.
.
1. Make sure you are in Recording mode. On the Plate menu, click Adjustment
The Probe /Plate Change dialog box appears. All axes move to the reference positions.
1. Change the well plate and replace the measuring head if necessary.
2. (Optional) Click Resistance Pos to move the measuring head into the small left dish and click
M to check the electrode resistance. You can check the resistance after the adjustment
procedure as well.
3. Click Next.
The Adjustment dialog box opens. A coarse adjustment will take place automatically.
Afterward, you have to fine-tune the adjustment manually.
46
TEVC Recording
Changing the well plate
Refer to "Changing the Well Plate and Loading the Needle" in the "cDNA/mRNA Injection"
section for detailed information about loading a well plate onto the carrier.
Replacing the measuring head
You can reuse a measuring head several times. Skip this section if you have already installed a
measuring head.
Important: The glass electrodes have to be backfilled with the electrolyte without any air
bubbles. Otherwise, the electrode resistance will be too high. Do not use measuring heads with
a resistance that is not in the range of 100 kΩ to 1MΩ.The amplifier does only work properly in
this specified range and may have problems to reach the clamp voltage if the current electrode
resistance is too high.
1. Click Move Axis.
The right z-axis will move down a bit now.
2. Remove the silver wires from the glass capillaries of the measuring head carefully and lay them
aside.
3. Turn the measuring head upside down. Use a fine pipette tip (Microloader, for example) and
apply a droplet inside the capillary near the tip. Keep the measuring head upside down in your
hand for about a minute.
The fine tip should fill itself now by the capillary forces of the filament.
4. Carefully fill the glass electrodes with the electrolyte solution, moving the Microloader tip as
deep as possible, and slowly withdrawing the pipette tip during the process.
Watch it carefully. There should be no air bubbles in the glass capillaries. Otherwise the
electrode resistance will be too high. Gently tap on the glass to remove air bubbles if necessary.
5. Replace the silver wires.
6. Put the measuring head on the conus of the z-axis.
7. Use the provided forceps to plug the four connectors into the appropriate sockets on the axis.
Connectors, viewed from the front and from left to right: Current electrode (I), bath reference
for the current electrode (RI), voltage electrode (U), bath reference for the voltage electrode
(RU). Be careful and avoid that the coating of the wires is scraped away. Residues of the coating
material could possibly clog the capillaries.
8. Attach the perfusion manifold directly to the inlet nozzle.
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Roboocyte User Manual
9. Attach the suction hose to the outlet nozzle.
See also "TEVC probe design" for more information and illustrations.
4.8
Adjustment
You have to adjust the position of the carrier and the measuring head under microscopic
control. The Roboocyte always moves relative to a standard position. The aim of the
adjustment process is to define this standard position. If this is not done properly, the
Roboocyte moves to wrong positions. The adjustment process also compensates for minor
changes in the dimensions of different well plates and variations in the length of the
needle/probe. To achieve a stable recording, it is essential to perform an adjustment each
time before you start a recording sequence.
Note: The adjustment is very important for obtaining best results. An adjustment is strongly
recommended each time before you start an injection or recording. It is very important that
the glass capillaries are centered on the adjustment device. Otherwise, the oocytes are not
properly hit.
Warning: Hitting the adjustment device can cause the glass capillaries to shatter, possibly
projecting splinters, which can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and this
adjustment should never be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
1. Switch to Fast. The movement of the z-axis and the carrier commanded by the software
controls will now be fast.
1. Move the z-axis by pressing the PAGE UP/DOWN keys and the carrier by pressing the arrow
keys on the keyboard or by clicking the according buttons on the Adjustment dialog box until
the needle/probe is almost centered on the adjustment device.
2. Switch to Slow. The movement will now be carried out in small single steps.
3. Fine-tune the position until the adjustment device is almost touched by the tip of the needle. If
you do this the first time, you may have difficulties seeing the TEVC probe three-dimensionally.
It may appear to be centered correctly, but instead the probe is still a way above the
adjustment device and shifted to the front. It is very important that the capillaries are centered
correctly on the crosshairs, but the height of the tips is not so important. It is recommended to
lower the TEVC probe as low as possible without touching the surface of the adjustment
device, because the glass electrodes are not so flexible as the injection needle and thus tend to
break easily. A stepwise movement is part of the automated recording sequence and achieves a
gentle and reliable impalement with both electrodes. Please refer to the RSL Help or manual
for more information.
If you need to start the adjustment again, for example if you have moved the carrier
accidentally by hand, click Back and Next to restart the adjustment process from step 1.
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TEVC Recording
4. Click Next.
The current position is saved, and the old adjustment position is overwritten. All following
movements relate to the new position now.
The Resistance Test dialog box opens.
Warning: Do not click Next if the adjustment has not been finished. This could lead to
wrong movements of the Roboocyte, which are potentially hazardous. If you want to cancel
the adjustment, leave this dialog box by clicking Cancel or Back.
You can now specify the sampling rate and test the electrode impedance.
4.9
Testing the Electrode Impedance
The impedance of the current electrode is an important indicator for the performance of the
measuring head. If the impedance is higher than 1 MΩ, the amplifier does not work properly
anymore. Replace the measuring head in this case. A high impedance is generally caused by
clogging of the needle. If the impedance is very low (below 100 kΩ), the tip of the needle is
likely to be broken, and the measuring head has to be replaced. The impedance of the voltage
electrode is not very important, but make sure that the tip of the glass capillary is not broken.
The impedance may rise over time during recording. Please make sure that it always stays in
the recommended range.
Note: Do not use measuring heads with an impedance outside the recommended range (100
kΩ to 1 MΩ). The amplifier may not operate properly outside this range. For example, it will
not be able to establish a stable voltage clamp or you may observe strong artifacts and
oscillations during recording. The impedance can also be measured automatically in-between
recordings. You should always perform an impedance check before an oocyte impalement. See
the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
1. Modify the sampling frequency by clicking the desired value on the Sampling Frequency list,
if necessary.
2. Make sure the left dish on the well plate carrier is filled with Ringer's solution (or similar). Click
Resistance Pos.
The probe is placed into the left dish.
3. Under Electrode Resistance, click M.
The current electrode's resistance is displayed in the text box. It should be in the range of 100
kilohms to 1 megohm. Please replace the measuring head if the impedance is not in this range.
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Roboocyte User Manual
4. Confirm the settings and leave the adjustment wizard by clicking Finish.
The carrier and the z-axis move to the starting position.
5. Remove the adjustment device and the microscope.
When you have performed the adjustment and controlled the electrode impedance, you are
now ready to start the recording or to perform tests in the Test Mode.
4.10 Starting the Recording Sequence
Important: External voltage sources, for example the stereo microscope, may interfere with the
recording and lead to artifacts. Remove all power supply units from the immediate vicinity of
the Roboocyte or unplug all unneeded devices.
Warning: Always make sure that a proper adjustment has been made immediately before
starting the recording, and that you have not moved the carrier by hand or changed the
TEVC probe afterward. Also, make sure that a valid script has been loaded and that it has
been set up properly. Wrong movements of the z-axis and the carrier can cause the glass
capillaries of the injection needle / TEVC probe to shatter, possibly projecting splinters, which
can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and the injection sequence should never
be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
1. You can get your first experiences by using the provided RecordingScript (without perfusion
system). Otherwise, load a custom script.
2. To start the recording sequence, simply click Start
on the toolbar or the Run menu.
The recording sequence specified in the chosen script will be executed for all selected oocytes.
3. Use the Pause
necessary.
and Stop
buttons on the toolbar to interrupt the measurement, if
Otherwise, the recording sequence will continue until all selected oocytes have been processed.
50
TEVC Recording
The well plate view shows the progress of the cycle online; already finished oocytes are
marked as recorded. Customizable messages that comment the cycle are displayed in the
Message Log. In addition, you can replay customizable sound messages that keep you
informed. Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
•
If the injection and recording sequence has been executed completely for the oocyte, the well
appears green
•
.
If one of the break conditions specified in the script was valid and the sequence has been
canceled, the color is red
•
. Generally, this means the oocyte is not viable anymore.
If data of an oocyte is recorded, but the oocyte has not been injected, the oocyte appears
yellow
.
When the recording sequence is completely finished, all oocytes will be marked as recorded
and the message "==>script execution finished" will be displayed.
Viewing thumbnails of the traces
You can also choose to view thumbnails of the traces instead of the icons explained above.
→ On the Series submenu of the View menu, click Min/Max or Mean.
Thumbnails of recordings will appear in the well plate view.
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4.11 Real-Time Monitoring
The Long Term Plot serves as a virtual oscilloscope and is used to control the TEVC probe and
the amplifier. The data is displayed on a small time base and is not saved. You can choose a
frequency of 1 or 2 Hertz. The current trace is plotted in red, and the voltage trace is plotted
in blue. The Long Term Plot sequences and the control features are customizable and
defined in the script. Refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
•
You can use the Longterm Plot to visually control the DC offset correction.
•
You can monitor the impalement of an oocyte. If the holding current is set to zero, the
voltage drops to the membrane potential (-40 mV for a typical healthy oocyte) in the
moment when the oocyte is impaled by both electrodes.
•
When the amplifier mode is switched to voltage clamp, you can see the leak current of the
oocyte.
•
You can set up and implement other compound and time saving control functions, for example
a cell viability test, by checking the membrane potential or the leak current.
DC offset correction
The following screen shot shows a recording in current clamp mode with an offset potential of
zero after a successful DC offset correction.
After the first electrode, the other electrode was checked as well. Switching the electrode in
the recording protocol creates a large artifact peak. You can see that the electrode's offset is
zero after the switch artifact, too.
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TEVC Recording
Oocyte impalement
The following screen shot shows a successful impalement of the target oocyte.
A few seconds after the successful DC offset correction (blue voltage trace at 0 mV), the
Roboocyte started its initial impalement movement. You see that the voltage drops to the
membrane potential of about –20 mV. Then, the electrode channel of the amplifier is switched
to check whether the second electrode has penetrated the membrane as well. You can see the
large switch artifact. You can also see that the second electrode has successfully impaled the
oocyte as well, because the measured membrane potential is the same when the second
electrode is used for recording.
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4.12 Recording Data
•
The recording sequences are controlled by the script. There are two modes: The standard
recording mode is not real-time based. A short delay (of about 50 ms) between execution of
commands is possible, depending on computer performance. The effect is stronger if you run
other programs in the background. Make sure that Safe Recording mode is used for realtime recording if you use short pulses. See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting
Language manual for more information.
•
If you are working with fast channels, it may be necessary to optimize the amplifier control
parameters (P and I coefficients), which are also defined in the script.
•
The recorded data traces are shown online in the Data Plot. You can choose between a single
sweep and an overlay mode. In single sweep mode, the Data Plot is cleared when the next
recording is plotted. In overlay mode, all sweeps from one oocyte are plotted over each other
in different colors. The modes are specified in the script. You can use commands to clear the
display and switch the display modes in the script as well.
The following screen shot shows the voltage step protocol of the sample script
First_RecordingScript.rsl used on non-injected oocytes. You see the passive "response" of
the oocyte to the voltage steps.
•
You can visually control the actual clamp in the Clamp Control display.
The following screen shot shows a holding potential of –50 mV and a +10mV test pulse applied
to a non-injected oocyte.
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TEVC Recording
•
If you use P/n leak subtraction, the leak pulses are displayed in the Leak Control display.
In the following screen shot, the leak pulse of a voltage step from –80 to –60 is monitored
(using the test model cell). A standard P/4 leak subtraction protocol type (0) has been used.
Four leak pulses are scaled down to a fourth of the original pulse amplitude, resulting in a
holding potential of –75 mV. The original amplitude = 20 mV divided by 4 gives an amplitude
of the leak pulse of 5 mV. After the four leak pulses, the original pulse is applied, which is
shown in the second screen shot (Clamp Control).
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Response-dependent protocols and automated data analysis
You can define the baseline and the region of interest in the Data Plot online during
recording. The defined regions are then applied to all following recordings. This is very
convenient if the responses of oocytes show a comparable behavior. You define the regions for
the baseline and the region of interest only once and then you only have to adjust the settings
for a few recordings that show a different behavior. The baseline and the region of interest
can be defined in the script as well for an advanced automation. See the RSL Parser Help or the
Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
This feature is used for triggering response-dependent sequences as well. You can use the
extremum or the mean value of the region of interest as a trigger. The recording sequence of
each single oocyte can be flexibly designed exactly to your requirements. You can define
custom thresholds to trigger recording sequences, depending on the response of the oocyte.
Automated controls identify unhealthy oocytes to eliminate unnecessary recordings. This
means throughput is maximized while compound usage is minimized. See the RSL Help or
manual for details.
If you have included a P/n leak subtraction in your script, the leak subtraction is used, and
not the baseline. But you should define the baseline anyway, in case that you later choose not
to use the leak subtraction and the baseline instead for further offline analysis.
All results and parameters (mean, extremum, area, data cursor positions, and so on) are saved
to the Microsoft Access database (PlatesData.mdb) and can be used for further offline
analysis.
→ Define the baseline by moving the two blue bars in the Data Plot (or in the script).
→ Define the region of interest where you expect the maximum response with the two red bars
in the Data Plot (or in the script).
4.13 Display Settings
You can separately customize the display settings for the Data Plot and the Longterm Plot.
The x/y scales of the Data Plot are by default sized to fit.
1. Click anywhere in the pane you like to adjust (Data Plot, Longterm Plot, Clamp Control).
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TEVC Recording
2. Click
to customize the display settings.
The Display Settings dialog box opens.
3. You can now modify the range of each axis or select a tool to zoom/scroll the data. Select Auto
Adjustment if the axis should be sized to fit the data automatically.
Note: Sometimes, it can happen that the data rate is higher than the refresh rate of the
display. In this case, the displayed data shows artifacts. The "missing" data points are clipped,
and the last "correct" data point and the next one are connected with a straight line. This is
only a display artifact; all data points are recorded and saved correctly. When you review the
data offline in the Recordings Display, you will see the correct traces without these artifacts.
This problem depends on the sampling rate and on the performance of the computer. You can
switch off the Auto Adjustment feature in the Display Settings dialog box to avoid it
(Tracking Off).
4.14 Saving the Recorded Data
After the recording sequence has been completed or stopped by the user, the well plate file
including the raw data, sampling rate, well plate status, file info, and plate comment is saved
automatically to the destination you specified when you created the file (*.rcd file). The
parameters (extremum, liquid handling, holding potential, comments on sweeps, and so on)
are filed into the Microsoft Access database (*.mdb file).
Therefore, the Save command is not available after a run. If you add a comment or perform
other changes, however, you may save the file again.
Hint: You can include a save command in your script as well to save the data in regular
intervals. This prevents data loss in case of a power failure, for example. Refer to the
documentation on the Roboocyte Scripting Language for more details.
Caution: Data loss may be caused by power failure, system and software errors. You (or the
administrator) should perform backups of the Roboocyte data files (*.rcd files) and of the
Microsoft Access database (*.mdb) at regular intervals and to appropriate media for preventing
data loss.
→ Click the Save button
on the toolbar to save the file after you have made any changes.
4.15 After the Recording
Store the TEVC probe in either Barth's solution or frog Ringer solution in the dish on right side
of the carrier in-between recording sequences. This is recommended for avoiding that liquid
drips on the x/y table.
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→ On the Run menu, click Park Position.
Hint: You can automate this movement by including it in the recording script.
This is not recommended for a longer period of time (especially overnight), because the KCl
concentration in the glass capillaries would drop due to diffusion. Keep the TEVC probe
hanging dry in the air and make sure that no buffer leaks out (empty or close all
reservoirs/valves).
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5
Data Analysis and Export
5.1
Database and Offline Analysis
5.1.1 Recordings Display
Each recording block in a script gives a separate recording entry and can be evaluated and
exported separately. The raw data is saved in the .rcd file. All results, compounds, and
parameters are filed into a Microsoft Access database (default name: PlatesData.mdb). You
can view and analyze your results in the Roboocyte software, with the large amount of data
generated by the Roboocyte being handles by an industry standard database like Access.
Use the Recordings Display to graph, analyze, and export your data as well as generate a
report.
→ You can either open the Recordings Display by double-clicking a recorded oocyte in the well
plate view, or by clicking the Recordings Display button
on the toolbar, or by clicking
Recordings Display on the View menu, or by pressing CTRL+R.
→ Browse all recordings of the open well plate in the tree view pane on the left. You can select
the whole plate, rows, single wells, or user-defined groups and series.
Selected items appear highlighted in blue. The recordings and results of all items selected in
the tree view pane are displayed in the result list view on the right.
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→ Scroll through the results by clicking any entries in the result list or by pressing the UP/DOWN
keys.
Selected items appear highlighted in blue. The sweep that belongs to the selected result is
graphed automatically. The Plate and Receptor ID, the compound and its concentration,
and/or the holding potential of the clamp are listed on the information pane on the
bottom left. Also, you can look for the exact date, time, and sampling rate of a recording.
You can add a short comment to each recording as well.
→ The current vs. voltage or the concentration curve for the voltage step or concentration series,
respectively, is displayed next to the graph of the sweep.
→ You can redefine the baseline or the region of interest by moving the bars in the graph. On
the Data menu, click Save to save any changes.
Updated information and results are saved to the Microsoft Access database.
Note: If all values in the result list view are 0, the link to the database is not valid. You have to
restore the link or to repair the database. See "Installing the Roboocyte", "Linking to the
Database".
5.1.2 Analyzing Data
Defining the baseline and the region of interest
The baseline and the region of interest are defined online in the Data Plot during
recording or in the script. See "Recording Data" in the "TEVC Recording" section. You can
adjust the regions for each recording separately or for multiple recordings in the Recordings
Display.
There are two blue bars and two red bars in the graph, each intersecting the curve in a single
point. The intersection point is displayed beneath each bar. You may move the bars by
dragging them to the left or right. The bars follow the trace, which means, you do not change
them when you zoom or scroll the plot.
•
The blue bars define the baseline. The data trace between these two bars is fitted by linear
regression and drawn as a straight line in dark blue.
•
The red bars define the region of interest.
•
Move the bars to redefine the region of interest or the baseline.
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Data Analysis and Export
The new cursor positions and the new extremum value are updated immediately.
Hint: The baseline usually comes first, but it can follow the region of interest as well.
Analysis results
•
The extremum of the curve between the two bars is listed in the result list. The extremum is
indicated by the dark blue bar. You can set the extremum manually by dragging and
positioning this bar, for example, if you have an artifact peak that you want to exclude.
•
The mean value (with baseline or leak subtraction) of the region of interest is displayed as well
(Mean).
•
Either the P/n leak subtraction curve or the baseline is subtracted from the region of
interest to calculate the extremum and the mean.
•
All results and the information on the left pane are saved to the Microsoft Access data base
(PlatesData.mdb file in the Roboocyte directory). Any changes that are applied in the
Recordings Display and saved are updated accordingly in the database.
Drift Correction
If you do not use a P/n leak subtraction protocol, the baseline is subtracted from the curve for
calculating the extremum. If you select the option Drift Correction, the slope of the
baseline is taken into account for the calculation. If you deselect this option, the slope is not
used, but the mean value of the region between the two blue bars. This is suitable if you have
an unsteady baseline due to artifacts/noise resulting in a high slope.
Leak subtraction
If your recording script includes leak subtraction, you can choose whether or not to use the
leak subtraction for offline analysis. For sweeps that use leak subtraction, the offset correction
by subtracting the baseline is not necessary and thus not available.
→ Select any sweeps in the Recordings Display and select or deselect the option Leak
Subtraction on the information panel of the Recordings Display.
→ Show the calculated theoretical leak curve offline in the Recordings Display by clicking the
button on the toolbar or by clicking Leak Control on the View menu. This option is not
available if you have selected more than one sweep.
The leak curve is shown in dark blue.
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Marking bad recordings
You cannot remove any recordings in the database with the Roboocyte software to avoid
mistakes and unwanted data loss. Mark bad recordings instead to exclude them from further
analysis.
→ Mark bad recordings by clearing the corresponding check boxes in the result list.
This marker helps you to sort and analyze the data further in the database or with your custom
analysis software. For example, you can use it for setting up queries and filters in Microsoft
Access to exclude it from the output.
Analyzing the rise time with the clamp control cursor
This feature can be used for measuring and comparing the rise time with different PI
coefficients.
1. Click
to show the clamp control cursor.
2. Right-click the cursor and select Style, Period.
3. Position the left cursor at the beginning of the voltage step and the right at the point where
the target voltage was reached.
The cursor label shows the time distance between the two cursors. You can use this
information for optimizing the amplifier. The following screen shot shows a measurement of a
voltage-gated sodium channel with the new version of the Roboocyte ClampAmp. The
measured rise time is about 680 µs. (You see a large capacitive peak immediately followed by
the response of about 2 µA to the voltage stimulus.)
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5.1.3 Graphing and Sorting Data
Selecting multiple sweeps and overlay
You can redefine the region of interest or add a comment for each recording separately, or for
multiple recordings at once.
1. Select a recording by clicking on it in the result list.
Selected recordings are highlighted in blue.
2. Hold down the SHIFT key and press PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN to select multiple recordings, or
select multiple recordings with the mouse.
All selected recordings are overlaid in the graph, each sweep in a different color. Information
that is applicable to all selected recordings is displayed on the left pane. Other boxes appear
blank. You can now change the baseline or region of interest, or enter a comment for all
selected recordings at once.
Displaying the holding potential
You can show the Clamp Control curve in the graph.
→ Click the
button on the toolbar or click Leak Control on the View menu. This option is not
available if you have selected more than one sweep.
The voltage trace is shown in gray. The corresponding axis appears on the right side.
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Saving and printing the graph
The graph displayed in the Recordings Display can be saved as a bitmap file, and printed by
your default printer.
→ On the Data menu, click Print Plot to File to save the image.
→ On the Data menu, click Print Plot to print the graph.
Sorting rows in ascending or descending order based on the contents of a column
You can select and sort data in the way you need. For example, you can list all results by the
extremum in an ascending or descending order.
→ Click on any column header to resort the list.
5.2
Generating a Report
The report feature provides information about your well plate that you can view online and
print. The report lists all results and a thumbnail of the graph. All recordings of a well plate are
used to generate the report.
Generating a report is useful to print and file a daily report, or to share information with other
people.
1. On the View menu of the Recordings Display, click Summary.
2. Click Print to print the report.
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Data Analysis and Export
5.3
Message Log Display
Default and customizable messages that inform the user about the process are print to the
Message Log during the execution of a script. Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more
information how to set up custom messages. The active script is shown in the Script Log.
You can review this information in the Message Log Display. You can also track the date and
time of all injections and recordings.
1. Click Message Log Display.
The Message Log Display opens.
2. Click a run from the list.
The corresponding Message Log appears on the left pane, and the corresponding Script Log
on the right pane.
3. You can scroll the runs by pressing the UP/DOWN keys.
5.4
Data Export
The raw data is saved in the .rcd file. You can review and evaluate the data with the Roboocyte
software offline.
However, if you like to study the data in more detail or print a custom plot, you can export the
raw data in tab-delimited ASCII file format. The file name extension for the output files is
.dat. Some programs allow you to open ASCII files directly, others have filters for importing
ASCII. For example, you can import the data into Origin or Microsoft Excel.
Hint: For more advance export features, please use the RoboDataTool. See "Data Export with
RoboDataTool".
Exporting all raw data of a well plate
The command Export All exports the raw data of all recordings of a plate. All data points of a
recording are listed in a separate channel. The header contains the well number, the data type
(voltage or current), and the recording frequency.
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1. On the Data menu, click Export All.
A preview of the data opens.
2. Confirm by clicking OK.
The raw data of the whole plate is saved in an ASCII file (*.dat). You can open the file with any
text editor or import it into your custom evaluation software.
Exporting the results
→ Click Export Result List to save the currently displayed result list as tab-delimited ASCII.
The following screen shot shows a result list opened with a standard spreadsheet program.
Exporting the graph
You can export the graph in tab-delimited ASCII file format.
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Data Analysis and Export
→ On the Data menu, click Export Display Data.
The data of the complete plot (x and y values) is saved. In single sweep mode, three channels
are exported: Channel one is the recorded data (current in voltage clamp mode); channel 2 is
the Clamp Control curve (voltage in voltage clamp mode), and channel 3 is the leak
subtraction curve. Channel 3 will be empty if you are not using a leak subtraction protocol.
In overlay mode, only the recorded sweeps are saved. Each channel represents one sweep. The
following screen shot shows an exported sweep overlay opened with a standard spreadsheet
program.
Hint: All results, that is, the extremum, slope, baseline, holding potential, applied compound
and so on, are filed into the database. Use Microsoft Access to generate custom reports, to set
up custom filters, and sort the results as you want.
5.5
Data Export with RoboDataTool
5.5.1 About RoboDataTool
RoboDataTool is an add-on program included in the Roboocyte software package for
exporting data retrieved with the Roboocyte program. With RoboDataTool, you can fast and
conveniently:
•
Export Results and Raw Data in Pulse (HEKA) format
•
Export Results in ASCII format
•
Export Raw Data in ASCII format
5.5.2 Terms of Use
You are free to use RoboDataTool for its intended purpose. You agree that you will not
decompile, reverse engineer, or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the software.
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5.5.3 Limitation of Liability
Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH makes no guaranty as to the accuracy of any and all tests
and data generated by the use the RoboDataTool software. It is up to the user to use good
laboratory practice to establish the validity of his findings.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Multi Channel Systems
MCS GmbH or its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential
damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, injuries, damages for data loss, loss of
business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or any other pecuniary loss)
arising out of the use of or inability to use RoboDataTool or the provision of or failure to
provide Support Services, even if Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH has been advised of the
possibility of such damages.
5.5.4 Important Safety Advice
Warning: Make sure to read the following advice prior to install or to use RoboDataTool.
Obey always the rules of local regulations and laws. Only qualified personnel should be
allowed to perform laboratory work. Work according to good laboratory practice to obtain
best results and to minimize risks.
•
The operator is obliged to ensure that RoboDataTool is only be used for its intended purpose
and that it is only used by qualified personnel.
5.5.5 Settings
Settings for ASCII Export
For exporting all results, you can choose between the following formats. Note that these
settings apply only to the command Convert All to ASCII
. The selective export feature
Convert Selected List Items to ASCII generates CSV files. The command Export Raw Data
generates tab-delimited ASCII files.
CSV
So-called Comma Separated Values. Columns are separated by semicolons.
File extension = .csv
Fixed
Width
Fields are aligned in columns with spaces between each field. File extension
= .txt
Excel
Microsoft Excel file format. File extension = .xls
Settings for Pulse/Pulsefit (HEKA) export
Pulse and Pulsefit use a tree structure with three hierarchical levels: Groups, Series, and
Sweeps. Groups correspond to the well numbers in the Roboocyte program, and Sweeps to
the recordings. Series do not have a match in the current version of the Roboocyte program.
Therefore, you can choose to assign either the well number or the recording to series.
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Data Analysis and Export
5.5.6 Loading a Data File
First, you open a Roboocyte data file (.rcd). Information on the file is displayed as well as the
result list (similar to the Recordings Display in the Roboocyte program). The result list is
extracted from the database. You can then export the results and the raw data of all
recordings in the file.
The group number equals the well number and is necessary for the Pulse export.
1. On the File menu, click Open
.
2. Select a *.rcd file and click Open.
The file is loaded. The file information and result list is updated accordingly.
5.5.7 Exporting Results and Raw Data in Pulse format
Use this feature to export the results and raw data to Pulse or Pulsefit, data analysis programs
for electrophysiological assays from HEKA. You can export all data or only the selected
recordings.
Pulse and Pulsefit use a tree structure with three hierarchical levels: Groups, Series, and
Sweeps. Groups correspond to the well number in the Roboocyte program or to the group
that you have defined in the script, and Sweeps to the recordings. Series are defined in the
script as well. You can also choose to assign either the well number or the recording to a series
(see Settings).
Three files are generated, with the following extensions: .dat, .pgf, .pul. You can open the .pul
file with Pulse/Pulsefit. The other files are needed for importing the data, too. Make sure that
all files are located in the same folder.
1. On the Convert menu, click Convert All to HEKA Pulse Format
to export all
displayed data.
— OR —
Select any recordings by mouse click. Selected recordings appear highlighted in blue. On the
Convert menu, click Convert Selected List Items to HEKA Format.
A Save As dialog box opens.
2. Select a path and enter a file name. Confirm by clicking Save.
You can open the .pul file with Pulse or Pulsefit now.
5.5.8 Exporting Results in ASCII format
Use this feature to export the results in ASCII format. This format can be read by most analysis,
plot, and spreadsheet programs. You can either export the complete result list or selected
recordings.
1. On the Convert menu, click Convert All to ASCII Format
to export all displayed data.
— OR —
Select any recordings by mouse-click. Selected recordings appear highlighted in blue. On the
Convert menu, click Convert Selected List Items to ASCII to export only the selected
recordings.
A Save As dialog box opens.
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2. Select a path and enter a file name. Confirm by clicking Save.
The displayed result list is saved in the specified format (see Settings).
— OR —
Selected recordings are saved in CSV format.
5.5.9 Exporting Raw Data in ASCII format
Use this feature to export the raw data of all recordings of the active .rcd file in tab-delimited
ASCII format. This feature is identical to the command Export All in the Roboocyte program.
All data points of a recording are listed in a separate column. The header contains the well
numbers, the data type (voltage or current), and the recording frequency. ASCII format can be
read by most analysis and plot programs, spreadsheets, and so on.
1. On the Convert menu, click Export Raw Data
A Save As dialog box opens.
to export the raw data.
2. Select a path and enter a file name. Confirm by clicking Save.
The raw data is saved in tab-delimited ASCII format (file extension .txt).
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6
Compound Application
6.1
About the Perfusion System
Gravity based perfusion system
The gravity based perfusion system is simple, easy to maintain, and ideally suited for most
rapid standard and expression tests, dose response analyses, and small screens. A system with
either eight or sixteen valves is available, R8 System and R16 System, respectively. The
perfusion is continuous, but can also be paused during the recording. The small volume of a
well ensures that a flow rate of about 4 ml/min achieves a rapid and efficient fluid exchange
with minimal compound usage. You can easily implement your own automated drug-saving
strategies into your experimental setup. Cross-contamination is prevented by the flow-through
of the washing solution.
The Roboocyte pump is a vacuum pump that works virtually pulsation-free and thus minimizes
noise during recording. It is switched on before you start to operate the Roboocyte; and it stays
on during the Roboocyte's operation. A pump valve inside the valve stand of the Roboocyte
controls the aspiration.
The fluid is led to a waste bottle, which has to be emptied regularly. The pump must not come
in contact with the liquid.
However, the capacity of the valve perfusion system is not suited for high-throughput
compound screenings. The functional principle of the system is also not ideal for dose-response
tests with very low concentrations (for example 1:10000 dilutions) and highly sensitive
receptors. The diffusion between the 8 or 16 channels can lead to a certain cross-talk in the
tubing, leading to unexpected results. Include positive and negative controls to test the system
for your applications.
Use of a liquid handler for high-throughput compound screenings
For more advanced applications or a high-throughput compound screening, the Roboocyte
easily interfaces with a widely-used standard liquid handler from Gilson. The number of
compounds is not limited by the system; it is only limited by the performance of the oocytes.
The compounds are kept in separate standard tubes or well plates in racks, making cross-talk
impossible. Cross-contamination in the tubing can be excluded by taking in air bubbles inbetween the compounds. With four 96 deep-well plates (rack holder available from Gilson),
you can screen up to 384 compounds without user intervention.
For often used solutions like Ringer's solution or reference compounds, it is recommended you
use the transfer ports to which large bottles can be connected. Please make sure the provided
needle with the bevelled tip is used with the transfer ports. Otherwise, the transfer ports
may not work properly.
The Gilson liquid handler is used for delivering compounds directly to the perfusion inlet of the
TEVC probe. The input flow is controlled by the Roboocyte via the Minipuls 3 peristaltic pump.
MCS recommends using the provided vacuum pump, and not the Minipulse 3 peristaltic pump,
for aspirating the liquid and delivering it to the waste receptacle, because this pump ensures a
steady and pulse-free flow.
MCS recommends to use a yellow, yellow tubing ID 1.42 mm (see also "Sources of Supply")
with the Gilson Minipuls 3 peristaltic pump and to use a pump speed of 25 rpm. The resulting
flow rate should be in the range of 5 to 6 ml per minute. Considering a volume of 200 µl in the
well, the solution should be exchanged after about 2 s. Please refer also to the Gilson Minipuls
User Manual, which describes the relationship between tubing ID and flow rate.
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For information on automated operation of the liquid handler, please refer to the RSL Parser
Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual. Please see the Minipuls 3 Peristaltic Pump
User’s Guide and the 221 and 222 XL Liquid Handlers User's Guide from Gilson if you have
questions concerning the general operation of the peristaltic pump or the liquid handler,
respectively.
Automated compound application
The perfusion is controlled by the script. For cleaning and testing purposes, you can also open
valves by pressing them directly with your hand or by the software controls provided in the
Manual Test Mode, which allow you to open one valve at a time manually, for example to
empty the reservoirs or to remove air bubbles.
If you have a Gilson XL 222 liquid handler in use, basic functions to fill, test, and clean your
perfusion system are also available in the Manual Test Mode.
6.2
Filling the Reservoirs
Rinsing the tubing
Rinse the tubing with distilled water to remove any possible contamination, especially if the
Roboocyte has not been in use for a longer period of time. You can also use the automated
rinsing routine in the Test Mode.
1. Make sure all connections are set up properly. Remove the tubing from the valves, if necessary.
2. Put the manifold into a beaker.
3. Fill a few milliliters of distilled water in each reservoir.
4. Wait until the reservoirs are empty again.
Filling the reservoirs
If the tubing is filled with air, the flow may not start immediately when the valve is opened.
Therefore, test the flow manually before you start the recording. Once the system is filled with
liquid, the perfusion should start without trouble.
Important: Unused reservoirs and tubes should always be filled with a neutral solution, usually
Frog Ringer's. If unused tubes are empty, a backward flow inside the manifold is possible,
resulting in artifacts.
1. Make sure all used tubes are attached to the valves and all connections are set up properly.
2. Fill each reservoir with the desired working solution. Label each reservoir clearly.
3. Place the manifold into a beaker.
4. Open the first valve with the software controls, or press the valve by hand to open it.
The fluid of the respective reservoir should start flowing into the beaker. If it does not, seal the
reservoir with your gloved hand for a moment. Repeat this until the flow starts.
5. Close the valve to stop the flow.
6. Check that there are no air bubbles in the system.
7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 for all reservoirs used.
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6.3
Fluid Aspiration
The external aspiration pump is a vacuum pump that works virtually pulsation-free and thus
minimizes noise during recording. It is switched on before you start operating the Roboocyte;
and it stays on during the Roboocyte's operation.
A pump valve inside the valve stand of the Roboocyte switches the aspiration on and off
controlled by the Roboocyte program.
The fluid is led to a waste bottle, which has to be emptied regularly. The pump must not come
in contact with the liquid.
Warning: Empty the waste bottle in regular intervals, at least once a day if the Roboocyte is
in use. The pump must not be operated if the waste bottle is full. The pump must always be
kept dry. Liquids can fatally damage the device.
Rinsing the aspiration tubing and pump valve
You should also rinse the waste hoses and the internal aspiration pump valve from time to
time, especially if you note problems with the aspiration.
1. Make sure all connections are set up properly.
2. Put the aspiration inlet into a beaker filled with distilled water.
3. Click the Test Mode tab and switch on the aspiration.
4. Wait until the waste hoses have been thoroughly rinsed.
6.4
Compound Management
Whether you decide to use the integrated gravity-based perfusion system or an external liquid
handler, the complete perfusion is controlled by the Roboocyte software and automated by
scripting.
The Roboocyte makes compound screens of several thousand compounds per year possible.
Therefore, the main task of the staff is no longer to produce, but rather to govern the huge
amount of data. The compound application can be easily managed by the Roboocyte program
and a Microsoft Access database.
You can set up a compound list and link the information to each sweep. For example, if a good
oocyte was perfused with compounds 1 to 40, the compound name and concentration is linked
automatically to each of the 40 recordings. The information specified in the compound list is
filed into the Microsoft Access database.
A unique ID is assigned to each compound. This ID serves to recognize the compound in the
database later on, for example to link a recording to a compound.
Note: The compound information from the compound list is linked automatically to the
recordings according to the specification in the recording sequence. Make sure to include the
necessary transmit commands in your scripts. See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte
Scripting Language manual for more information.
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Setting up a compound list
Please also see "Using a Gilson liquid handler" for information how to specify the racks. If you
assign a compound to a tube in a rack that has not been specified, an error message will show
up.
Each line in the spreadsheet represents a test solution (for one reservoir/tube). You can enter
several compounds per entry for multiple compound test solutions. This is useful, for example,
if you have a test solution containing an agonist and an antagonist of the test receptor. You
can set the available number of compounds per entry (minimum two).
Note: Compounds that are deleted from this list are not deleted from the database. You
cannot rename a compound or change the concentration after you have confirmed the
settings by clicking Apply or OK. You can edit compounds in the database directly. Changes
will show up in the Roboocyte program.
1. On the Extras menu or the toolbar, click Liquid Handling
.
The Liquid Handling dialog box opens. The current compound list is displayed.
2. Specify how many different compounds you use in your test solution by entering the
appropriate number in the Compound Cols box.
3. Press INSERT or click Insert Line
to generate a new entry.
4. Type a compound name in the Compound1 cell.
5. In the Concentration cell, type the appropriate concentration.
6. Enter other compounds for the same solution (columns Compound 2, 3, and so on), or set up
further solutions.
7. Assign each compound to a valve, or to a Gilson tube and rack, whichever is appropriate, by
selecting the appropriate number in the Valve, Rack in Slot, and Tube columns. (You can
change this selection later.)
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Compound Application
8. Click Apply (or OK) to confirm.
A unique ID is assigned to each compound solution. This ID serves to recognize the compounds
in the database later on, for example to link a recording to a compound. The entry is sent to
the database.
You can also:
→ Autocreate a concentration series with the Autofill feature
→ Import a compound list from Microsoft Excel
→ Print the compound list by clicking Print
.
or export the compound list to Excel
.
.
→ Delete any row by selecting any cell in the row and clicking Delete Line
.
→ Clear all assignments (to valves and/or racks and tubes) by clicking Clear Assignments
→ Select multiple cells and rows by enabling the Select tool
and dragging with your mouse.
•
Copy
•
Press CTRL+# to copy and paste the cell content from the cell above the selected cell.
, cut
, and paste
.
cell contents and rows.
Importing a compound list from Excel
It is very convenient to set up compound lists with a standard spreadsheet program like
Microsoft Excel. You can import a compound list from Excel into the Roboocyte program, and
also export the compound list from the Roboocyte program to Excel. This feature is available
only if you have installed Microsoft Excel on the same computer.
Warning: All compound entries in the Roboocyte compound list are overwritten when you
import a compound list from Excel. This could lead to data loss. Please make sure that you
will not need the current compound list.
1. Click
to start Excel and open an empty Excel file.
2. Edit the open Excel file and enter your compound list. You have to use the same columns as the
Liquid Handling dialog box, that is, the first column is the slot number, the second column is
the tube number, the third column is the valve number, and so on. For example, if you use the
internal valve perfusion system, the first two columns (slot and tube) have to be empty. Please
make sure that you set up the compound list properly. See also "Setting up a compound list".
3. Click
to import the data from the open Excel file.
The compound list is overwritten with the content of the open Excel worksheet. Improper
values, for example a second assignment to the same valve, are ignored.
Exporting the compound list to Excel
This feature is available only if you have installed Microsoft Excel on the same computer.
1. Click
to start Excel and open an empty Excel file.
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2. Click
to export the compound list to Excel. You can now edit the compound list and
reimport it into the Roboocyte program, for example.
Using a Gilson liquid handler
You have to define which racks you will use. There are five slots for racks on the liquid handler;
a rack type can be assigned to each. Empty slots have to be specified as empty.
Three rack types are available for use with the Roboocyte: code 21, 24, and 60. Please refer to
the 221 and 222 XL Liquid Handlers User's Guide from GILSON for more information on rack
types.
Also supported is the use of a holder for four standard or deep well microplates. The holder
occupies four of the five slots. The plates are named 4961, 4962, 4963, and 4964 in the
Roboocyte software. You can choose to assign these plates either to slots 1 to 4, or to slots 2 to
5.
In the following example, slots 1 to 4 are occupied with the microplate holder, slot 5 holds a
rack code 60.
Hint: You can specify the racks in the script as well. The settings in the script overrule the
software settings. See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for
more information.
Warning: Make sure you have specified the correct rack type for each slot. Wrong
specifications can lead to unexpected behavior of the liquid handler, which can eventually
cause damage of the device or injuries. Be especially careful if you have specified the racks in
the script, because these settings will not show up in the Liquid Handling dialog box.
Double-check the specifications each time before starting a script.
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Compound Application
Automated creation of concentration series
For large numbers of compounds, it needs a lot of time to enter all concentrations by hand.
The Roboocyte program features an Autofill function. Simply enter the compound names, the
start and end concentration, and the starting tube number, and all entries and tube
assignments are generated automatically.
This feature is only available if you have a Gilson liquid handler in use. Please make sure that
you have enabled the Gilson liquid handler in the General Options dialog box.
1. On the Liquid Handling toolbar, click the Autofill button
The Autofill dialog box appears.
.
2. Select the rack and tube number to start with. Compounds are assigned to tubes automatically
starting with the specified tube. The assignment proceeds for all racks specified under Gilson
Rack Types. For example, if you use four 96 deep well plates, you can set up 384 compounds
in total.
3. Enter compound names into the Names text box. The number of compound names is not
limited. Separate compound names have to be separated by a blank (hit the SPACEBAR), for
example "Compound_A Compound_B Compound_C" and so on. Make sure you do not enter
more compounds than you have tubes available. Enter parameters for compound 2 if you use
multiple compound test solutions.
4. Choose a scheme for the concentration series under Scale.
5. Enter the start and end concentration in exponential notation (powers of ten).
6. Click OK to generate the records in the compound list. For example, the settings shown in the
preceding screen shot would result in the following compound list.
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7
Manual Test Mode
7.1
About the Test Mode
The main characteristic and the main advantage of the Roboocyte is its full automation. You
should not waste your time watching your experiments, but rather start the automated
operation and collect the results the next day. This requires a thorough planning of your
experiments and the setup of appropriate scripts, which will cost you a reasonable amount of
time beforehand, but will save you plenty of time in the long run.
The Roboocyte program provides a manual test mode for trying out your experimental
settings, which you can then use as a basis for setting up your scripts. It also provides an
opportunity to new Roboocyte users to make their first experiences without the need to set up
a script first.
You can also switch from the script to the Test mode and back again. This is very convenient,
for example, if you want to perform an automated impalement procedure and viability checks
and then start your manual tests. Click the Continue Script button to resume the automated
operation. See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more
information.
Test Mode features
In the Test Mode, you can
→ Move to any oocyte in the 96 well plate
→ Impale the oocyte manually and monitor the membrane potential
→ Apply up to 16 compounds with the internal valve perfusion system
→ Apply compounds with an external liquid handler
→ Manually apply voltage (or current) jumps
→ Run a short voltage (or current) step protocol with up to 4 steps
→ Save the raw data in ASCII file format
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General advice
Warning: Do not use any movement command without a valid adjustment. Always make
sure that a proper adjustment has been made, and that you have not moved the carrier by
hand or changed the TEVC probe afterward, immediately before clicking any button. Wrong
movements of the z-axis and the carrier can cause the glass capillaries of the injection needle
/ TEVC probe to shatter, possibly projecting splinters, which can be dangerous. Eye
protection should be used, and the Roboocyte's operation should never be observed up close
with an unprotected eye.
→ First, perform an adjustment before you click any button on the Test Mode tabbed page.
→ Perform a DC offset correction each time after you have changed to another well.
→ Check the electrode resistance each time before impaling an oocyte.
→ Check the leak current after a successful impalement of an oocyte and repeat the leak current
check from time to time during an experiment.
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Manual Test Mode
7.2
Test Mode Toolbar
Start
recording
Record and monitor current and voltage traces.
Stop
recording
Scroll axes
Scroll the axes by clicking and dragging with your
mouse.
Zoom axes
Zoom the axes by clicking and dragging with your
mouse.
Zoom out
Reduces the plot.
Zoom in
Magnifies the plot.
Zoom to fit
Changes the view to fit all traces in the screen.
Zoom
selection
Select an area by clicking and dragging with your mouse.
The selected area is zoomed to fit.
Show
measure
tool
A horizontal bar is shown that displays the
current/voltage value of the intersection point. Drag the
bar with the mouse. Switch the channels by right-clicking
on the bar and selecting the desired channel.
Copy to
clipboard
Copies picture to clipboard. Use this feature for an easy
import into your custom bitmap or vector graphics
editor.
Save
picture
Saves picture as Bitmap (.bmp), Enhanced Metafile
(.emf), JPEG file (.jpg), or PNG file (.png).
Print plot
Prints plot to default printer.
Reset axes
to default
Show/hide
current
trace
Show/hide
voltage
trace
Save data
as ASCII
Saves displayed data in ASCII file format.
Continue
script
Switches back to the active script at the line where the
script was left and switched to the manual Test mode.
You need to include this feature in your recording script.
See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting
Language manual for more information.
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7.3
Preparations for Manual Operation
1. Check the oocytes in the well plate. See "TEVC Recording", "Preparations for Recording".
2. Open a file or create a new one. See "TEVC Recording", "Setting Up the Well Plate".
3. Install a measuring head (if necessary) and place the well plate on the carrier. See "TEVC
Recording", "Changing the Well Plate and the TEVC Probe".
4. Perform an adjustment. See "TEVC Recording", "Adjustment".
5. Check the TEVC probe. See "TEVC Recording", "Testing the Electrode Impedance".
You can now start the manual operation in the Test Mode.
7.4
DC Offset Correction
A DC offset correction is performed when all four electrodes are in the bath (liquid). A DC
offset correction should be performed for each well separately before the impalement of the
oocyte.
The amplifier is switched to current clamp mode, with a holding potential of zero. It is
recommended to wait for approximately one minute in the liquid before the reset to
equilibrate the system. If the waiting time is too short, the electrodes have not equilibrated
yet and the voltage can drift over time, leading to unexpected results. After the equilibration,
the electrodes can be reset. The command DC Offset sets the measured voltage/current of both
electrodes to zero.
Note: Switching of the electrodes may be accompanied by amplifier oscillation. This is
considered normal behavior and does not impair the functionality of the amplifier. Wait about
10 s for the amplifier to steady.
1. Under Move Carrier, type in the number of the desired well, for example A1, and click Go to
Well to move the TEVC probe to the target oocyte.
2. Click Liquid to move the electrodes into the liquid.
3. Set the current to 0 nA.
4. Switch to current clamp mode by clicking Current.
5. On the Test Mode toolbar, click the Start button
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to start the recording.
Manual Test Mode
6. Wait for approximately 60 s to equilibrate the system.
The voltage trace should be steady by now.
7. Click DC Offset to correct the offset.
8. Wait until you see a stable flat line.
9. Switch to the other electrode to see if its offset has been removed as well. Repeat steps 7 to 9
if necessary. If you cannot achieve a stable DC offset correction, the TEVC probe has to be
replaced.
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7.5
Oocyte Impalement and Membrane Potential Check
The following protocol describes the manual impalement of an oocyte. The membrane
potential is controlled to check for a successful impalement.
The depth is defined by the recording distance Oocyte in the Adjustment wizard or Settings.
It is not necessary that the electrodes already penetrate the cell. A proper impalement with
both electrodes can be achieved by a stepwise movement and controlled by checking the
membrane potential. A stepwise impalement sequence is strongly recommended, because
oocytes differ in size and a proper impalement is not as easy to achieve with the probe as it is
with the injection needle. Do not move the TEVC probe too fast to avoid penetrating the cell
too deeply, which could result in a huge leak current.
Note: Switching of the electrodes may be accompanied by amplifier oscillation. This is
considered normal behavior and does not impair the functionality of the amplifier. Wait about
10 s for the amplifier to steady.
Hint: It is not important which electrode you check first.
After the TEVC probe has successfully impaled the oocyte, you can perform an automated
optimization of the amplifier. This is especially useful if you have fast channels. See the RSL
Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
1. Under Oocyte Impalement, click Oocyte to bring the electrodes near the oocyte's surface.
The TEVC probe is moved according to the Distance Oocyte settings.
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Manual Test Mode
2. Watch the display and move the TEVC probe stepwise down by clicking the appropriate arrow
button
, until the membrane potential is reached. You may have to move about 10 steps
for a successful impalement. Make sure not to hit the well bottom or wall. This would crash the
TEVC probe. Move to a new oocyte if the membrane potential cannot be reached.
Each click moves the TEVC probe down another 33 µm. The voltage drops to the membrane
potential (–40 mV for a typical healthy oocyte, but can range from –10 mV to –70 mV ) in the
moment when the oocyte is impaled by the electrodes.
3. Switch to the other electrode and check the membrane potential again to see if this electrode
has also penetrated the cell. Sometimes it may happen that one electrode has penetrated the
cell while the other has not. In this case, repeat step 2 until both electrodes have successfully
impaled the oocyte.
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7.6
Amplifier Control Parameters (PI Coefficients)
The digital amplifier ClampAmp uses a PI based technique (PI for Proportional and Integral
control). Modification of the P and I parameters allows you to optimize the rise time while
avoiding that the amplifier starts to oscillate. This is generally not necessary for ligandactivated channels. But if you have very quick response times, you may have to test and modify
the P and I coefficients. The higher P and I, the shorter is the rise time and the smaller is
the offset; but the amplifier starts to oscillate if the coefficients are too high.
The PI coefficients can be optimized manually by setting fix values at the beginning of a script.
In this case, you have to find a compromise between the amplifier's performance and
variations in the electrical properties of oocytes. The optimum PI values can also be determined
automatically, separately for each oocyte. This has the great advantage that different PI
values can be flexibly adapted to the properties of each cell. The amplifier's tendency to
oscillate depends mainly on the oocyte's capacitance.
You can try out and optimize PI coefficients in the manual Test Mode.
In the following, the amplifier and the PI coefficients are discussed in more detail. You may not
need this information to operate the Roboocyte, but it will help you to understand how the
instrument operates and to optimize your system for your applications.
The digital amplifier measures the voltage with the voltage electrode. If the measured voltage
differs from the setpoint = clamp voltage, the amplifier "injects" current via the current
electrode into the cell in order to reach the clamp voltage. The current is not measured
directly, but calculated from the output current of the amplifier.
The following equation describes the control loop of the amplifier, that is, how the injected
current is controlled and thus the voltage clamp is achieved.
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Manual Test Mode
In other words, the output current I of the amplifier equals the error multiplied by the gain P,
plus the integral of the error over time multiplied by the integrator I, where the error equals
the setpoint (clamp) voltage UClamp minus the measured voltage U(n).
The following illustration shows the direct effect of the amplifier's control parameters.
Proportional control (gain)
The P coefficient controls the output current of the amplifier. The higher P, the higher is the
output current that compensates the error. The lower P, the less current is applied. Thus, the P
coefficient has a similar function as the gain has for other amplifiers. P controls the first fast
rising edge of the amplifier. If P is set too low, the rise time will be too slow because the
current flow is not strong enough to compensate the error in an appropriate time. If P is too
high, the amplifier will start to oscillate with a high frequency because it injects too much
current and thus overcompensates the error. See illustration "Optimizing P I coefficients".
Integral control (automatic reset)
The proportional control alone is not sufficient to reach the specified clamp voltage. This is
because the output current goes to zero with a decreasing error (difference between clamp
voltage and measured voltage), that is, term UClamp–U(n) results in a very small value. As a
result, the specified clamp voltage cannot be reached and an offset occurs. See illustration
"Optimizing P I coefficients", "P optimized, I = 0").
It is now the job of the integrator, the I coefficient, to compensate this error and to reach the
exact clamp voltage. From the beginning of a recording on, the offset between the actual
voltage and the clamp voltage are taken at internal sampling intervals (4 kHz) and these values
are summed up. The resulting total multiplied by the I coefficient gives the current that is
added to the output current controlled by P. The I coefficient is therefore responsible for the
slow rising edge following the fast rising edge. If I is set too low, the exact holding potential is
reached too slow or not at all. If I is too high, the amplifier will start too oscillate with a low
frequency resulting in a small artificial peak. See illustration "Optimizing P I coefficients".
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If you look at the preceding equation, you see that I and P depend on each other. That is, I has
a bigger effect on the current if P is low and vice versa. In general, if P is lowered, the I
coefficient should be lowered, too, and vice versa.
Automated amplifier optimization
In the following, the automated amplifier optimization routine that can be run in the
Recording or Test Mode is explained in more detail.
The Roboocyte needs about two minutes for running this routine. It is only necessary and
recommended to use this command for fast channels where an optimization of the amplifier is
required. For slow channels, it is recommended to use fix PI coefficients for saving time during
the run.
At the beginning, I and P are set to zero, and then P is incremented. For optimizing the P
coefficient, the difference between the maximum current and the minimum current is
calculated after a voltage jump. This difference should be zero and it grows if the amplifier
starts to oscillate. When the difference reaches the threshold of the routine, this event marks
the point when the amplifier starts to oscillate. The optimum P coefficient is set as high as
possible, but at a safe distance (5 % lower) from this point. For example, if the amplifier starts
to oscillate at a P coefficient of 180, P is set to 171.
Then, I is incremented by one. Now, the voltage is regarded, because the clamp voltage is
known while the oocyte resistance is not known and therefore, the expected current is
unknown, too. The difference between the actual voltage and the clamp voltage is measured.
At the beginning, there is a positive offset. With increasing I, the offset decreases, and finally,
it becomes a negative offset, because the amplifier now oscillates with a low frequency. The I
value that gives an offset of zero is the optimum I coefficient.
Note: For most applications, it is not necessary to use this command at all, and it suffices to use
fixed PI coefficients, that is, set them at the beginning of the script. The set_pi_control
command should only be used if you work with fast channels and cannot achieve a fast clamp
with fixed coefficients. You should first try to use either the standard coefficients of P = 150
and I = 50, or the coefficients that they have determined by using the automated amplifier
optimization feature in the manual Test Mode on a few manually tested oocytes.
7.7
Leak Current Check
Check now the leak current in voltage clamp mode. The leak current gives you information
about the seal and the quality of the oocyte.
1. Stop the recording by clicking
.
2. Under Set Voltage, enter –40 and click the Set button to specify a holding potential of –40
mV.
3. Under Clamp, click Voltage to switch to voltage clamp mode.
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Manual Test Mode
4. On the Test Mode toolbar, click the Start button
to start the recording again.
5. Watch the leak current for at least one minute or so. Often, the leak current starts with quite a
high value, and decreases over time because the oocyte reseals. Move to the next oocyte if the
leak current does not satisfy your criterion. Usually, a leak current between –1000 nA and 200
nA is acceptable.
6. If you use perfusion, check the leak current again with perfusion. Sometimes the perfusion
destabilizes the oocyte and leads to a higher leak current.
7.8
Voltage Steps
Hint: You can run current steps in current clamp mode in the same way as voltage steps in
voltage clamp mode.
→ Enter any holding voltage values and apply them by clicking Set.
→ Reverse the polarity by clicking Neg (that is, –40 mV is changed to +40 mV and vice versa).
Setting up a short voltage step protocol
1. Stop recording.
2. Enter the holding voltage values and the according times into the text boxes.
3. Click Start Steps to apply the protocol.
4. You can save the current protocol and load it for later uses.
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7.9
Manual Compound Application
For cleaning and testing purposes, you can open valves by pressing them directly with your
hand or by the provided software controls, which allow you to open one valve at a time
manually, for example to empty the reservoirs or to remove air bubbles.
1. Switch to the Test Mode by clicking the Test Mode tab.
2. Under Valves, switch the aspiration on.
3. Click the number of the valve you would like to open.
The software LED lights red. You hear a faint clicking sound, the opened valve appears pressed
in.
Automated rinsing
For a short rinsing of the tubing in-between recordings, you can use the automated Rinse
Tubing routine in the manual Test Mode.
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Manual Test Mode
1. Make sure that all connections are set up properly, that the tubes are attached to the valves,
and that the measuring head is properly installed.
2. Move the measuring head into one of the small dishes on the well plate carrier or into a well,
for example by clicking Park Position on the Run menu or by clicking Resistance Pos in the
Test Mode.
3. In the main window of the Test Mode, click Valves to open the manual valve control panel.
4. Under Rinse Tubing, select the first and last valve from the drop-down list that control the
reservoirs in use.
5. Select a rinsing time from the drop-down list.
6. Click Start to start the routine.
The valves will be opened and closed sequentially, starting with the selected first valve.
7.10 Controlling a Gilson Liquid Handler
If you have a Gilson XL 222 liquid handler in use, basic functions to fill, test, and clean your
perfusion system are available in the Test Mode dialog box.
For information on automated operation of the liquid handler, please refer to the RSL Parser
Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual.
→ Use the Running Time counter to optimize your recording scripts. For example, you can
measure the time lag between starting the perfusion and delivering the compound to the
oocyte. You can then use this information to specify the wait commands in your script. See the
RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
→ Use the transfer ports for large volumes or for often used standard solutions, for example
Frog Ringer's.
→ Use rinsing stations A (on the left) and C (on the right) for rinsing the needle or removing air
bubbles from the needle.
Hint: When you set up your perfusion system for the first time, you can use colored water to
test the compound application and washout times.
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Starting perfusion
1. Define the rack types (and compounds) in the Liquid Handling dialog box.
2. In Test Mode, click the Valves tab and click On to start the aspiration.
3. Click the Gilson Control tab.
4. Select a rack and tube.
5. Click Tube to move the z-arm into the selected tube.
6. Under Peristaltic Pump, select the desired speed of the Minipulse peristaltic pump and
confirm the settings with Apply. Make sure you have specified the appropriate flow direction.
7. Click On to start the perfusion.
The software LED indicates that the pump is active. The peristaltic pump starts. The running
time is counted up.
8. Click On to stop the perfusion.
The pump is switched off. The running time counter is stopped as well.
z-Arm movement
→ Use the Up command and Home command to move the z-arm to the top position or back to
the starting position, respectively. For example, you can move the needle up to aspirate an air
bubble for separating samples.
→ Use the Test Move command to execute a short control movement to check whether the
liquid handler is online and ready. Click Reset if the liquid handler does not respond to this
command.
→ Use the Reset command in case that an error occurs and the liquid handler does not respond
to other commands anymore. The z-arm moves to its standard reference position, in the same
way as when you switch the liquid handler off and on again. Check all connections and the
power switch if the liquid handler does still not respond.
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8
General Software Features
8.1
User Interface
8.1.1 Main Window
•
Click the tabs of the main window to switch from Injection mode to Recording mode or vice
versa. The Roboocyte is started in Injection mode. Set all parameters and start the injection in
Injection mode. Likewise, choose the oocytes to be recorded and start measuring in
Recording mode.
•
You may review and evaluate your previously saved data both online (Roboocyte connected)
and offline. There are tools provided to perform an automated data analysis and to export
data.
•
Results and compounds are managed by a Microsoft Access database.
•
Your well plate is depicted on the top right. This view may be customized and it is updated
online during an experiment.
•
Beneath the well plate is the Script/Message Log. Click on a tab to set the according page on
top. Detailed information on the progress of the injection or recording run will be displayed
here.
•
The contents of the other two panes are context-sensitive and depend on the mode you have
selected.
•
You may customize the size of the windows. Drag the frames by mouse to minimize/extend or
to open/close a pane.
•
You will find most commands on the pull-down menus of the main window.
•
Some commands that you need frequently are presented in addition as a button on the
toolbar.
•
You can also use shortcut keys to accomplish common tasks.
8.1.2 Menu Bar
You will find most software features in the pull-down menus of the main window. Each menu
displays a list of commands. Commands that are not available at the moment appear shaded.
Some menus as the File, View and Extras menu refer to general settings.
The Plate and Run menu customize directly the settings of your experiment, so the effects of
the commands listed here are context-sensitive and depend on the mode you have selected.
Therefore, it is very important to switch to the appropriate mode first.
Use the ...
•
File menu to handle your virtual well plate files, for example to open and save a file. You can
also connect/disconnect to the Roboocyte, set up a printer and print a well plate report.
•
Plate menu to customize your virtual well plate, for example to select oocytes for injection or
recording, respectively, and to perform an adjustment before you start the injection/recording.
•
Run menu to load a script, and to start and stop the injection or recording sequence.
•
View menu to review the Script/Message Logs of previous runs, to analyze and export data,
and to customize the view of the Well Plate, the Data Plot and the Longterm Plot.
•
Extras menu to define general settings, to manage your compound list, or for special
commands, for example to manually edit the oocyte state in the well plate view.
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•
Help menu to open the Roboocyte Help and to display the About dialog where you can find
information about the software and firmware versions. You will need this information when
you contact the support.
8.1.3 Toolbar
For your convenience, you will find some of the more commonly used commands as a button
on the toolbar.
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New File
Creates a new virtual well plate (*.rcd) file.
Open File
Opens a previously saved well plate (*.rcd) file.
Save File
Saves the *.rcd file to the chosen destination, and the
corresponding entries to the Microsoft Access database. (Available
when file has been changed)
Start run
Starts script execution. (Available when Roboocyte is online and file
is open)
Pause run
Pauses script execution. (Available during run)
Stop run
Stops script execution. Carrier and axes are moved to their starting
positions. (Available during run)
Adjustment
Performs adjustment of the Roboocyte. (Available when Roboocyte
is online)
Settings
Defines settings, for example pressure and sampling rate. (Available
when Roboocyte is online)
Recordings
Display
Opens the Recordings Display (Data analysis, graph, and export).
Display
Settings
Modifies the display settings, for example the ranges of the axes.
Compound
Valves
Opens valve control dialog box.
Liquid
Handling
For setting up a compound list and assigning valves and tubes to
compounds.
Roboocyte
Help
Opens the Roboocyte Help that contains plenty of information
and user tips.
General Software Features
8.1.4 Roboocyte Status
The status lamps on the status bar at the bottom of the main window shows the current
status of the Roboocyte robot. Have a look at it to check whether everything is fine. Please
refer to the "Troubleshooting" section to learn how to avoid and solve problems with the
Roboocyte.
Warning: The Roboocyte is only fully operational if the Pressure and Status status lamps
are green. Do not use the Roboocyte if this is not the case. Otherwise, damage to the device
or to the operator may occur.
Status
Status
lamp
Green
Red
Gray
Pressure
Air pressure is in the
operating ranges.
Click the Check
button to refresh the
Pressure status lamp.
Air pressure is too low. Please
see the topic "Connecting the
Roboocyte" in the "First Use
of the Roboocyte" part and
"Air Pressure is Too Low" in
the Troubleshooting section
for more information. Click
the Check button to refresh
the pressure status lamp.
Offline mode, instance
of Roboocyte program
is not connected to the
Roboocyte robot. Make
sure the Roboocyte is
switched on and
deselect the option
Offline Mode on the
File menu to connect.
Amp Limit
Amplifier is operating Amplifier cannot control the
inside its limits.
clamp anymore, because it
cannot deliver enough current
and finally becomes saturated,
resulting in a measured current
of 32000 nA. Please see "Voltage
Clamp Not OK" in the
Troubleshooting section for
more information.
Status
Roboocyte robot is
connected and its
basic functions are
fine.
System failure. Please see
"Roboocyte or Amplifier Does
not Work Properly" in the
Troubleshooting section for
more information.
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8.1.5 Shortcut Keys
Shortcut keys offer you another way to accomplish common tasks. Using a shortcut key usually
consists of pressing and holding one key while pressing a second key.
See the list of shortcut keys available in the Roboocyte software.
F1
Roboocyte Help
F5
Start run
F6
Stop run
F7
Load Script
F10
Park Position
F12
Pause run
CTRL+ALT+I
Switch to Injection Mode
CTRL+ALT+R
Switch to Recording Mode
CTRL+ALT+T
Switch to Test Mode
CTRL+N
Create New File
CTRL+O
Open File
CTRL+R
Open Recordings Display
CTRL+S
Save file
Select Oocytes dialog box:
CTRL+A
Select all
SHIFT+A, SHIFT+B, ..., SHIFT+H
Select row A, B, ..., H
CTRL+F1, CTRL+F2, ..., CTRL+F12
Select column 1, 2, ..., 12
You can select single oocytes by typing quickly the appropriate number , for example b2, d11,
and so on.
Adjustment wizard:
+
Switch to Fast mode
–
Switch to Slow mode
PAGE UP/DOWN
Move z-axis up/down
Arrow keys
Move the carrier
Liquid Handling dialog box:
CTRL+#
Copy and paste the content from the cell
above into the selected cell
Hint: Shortcut key combinations are also listed on the toolbar menus. For example, the Run
menu shows that the shortcut key for Start is F5.
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8.1.6 Display Settings
In this topic, general features of the online displays (Data Plot, Long Term Plot, and Clamp
Control) and the offline Recordings Display are described. Several tools are provided for
scrolling and zooming the displays. The tracking features pertain to how the axes react to the
addition of new data to the online displays with respect to the sizing of the span of the axes
and the position of the axes with respect to this new data.
The offline displays In the Recordings Display dialog box have their own toolbar, where you
can find convenient features for scrolling, zooming, and so on. To gain access to the toolbar for
the online displays, open the Display Settings dialog box (on the View menu).
Display toolbar
Enable scrolling
Scroll the axes by clicking and dragging with your mouse or by pressing
keys on your keyboard.
Enable zooming
Zoom the axes by clicking and dragging with your mouse or by pressing
keys on your keyboard.
Zoom in
Zoom all axes in.
Zoom out
Zoom all axes out.
Zoom box
Zoom in a particular region of the display.
Show/hide data
cursor labels
Show/hide clamp
control cursor
A vertical bar is shown that displays the x and y value of the
intersection point. You can position the bar with the mouse. Rightclick
the bar for several options.
Zoom to fit
Adjusts the ranges of the axes to fit all displayed data.
Subtract baseline
Subtracts the baseline from the complete sweep, that is, baseline is set
to zero.
Show/hide
baseline
Shows or hides the linear fit of the baseline defined by the blue bars.
Show measure
tool
A vertical bar is shown that displays the x and y value of the
intersection point. You can position the bar with the mouse. Rightclick
the bar for several options.
Export graph
Scrolling and zooming with the mouse wheel
1. Click an axis to select it.
This is indicated by a tiny dotted line around the selected axis.
2. Use the mouse wheel to scroll the axis. Press the CTRL key at the same time for zooming the
axis.
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Scrolling with the mouse or keyboard
1. Click
to enable the scrolling.
2. Click the axis you like to scroll.
The mouse pointer becomes a hand.
3. While holding down the mouse button, move the mouse pointer to the left and right, or up
and down.
— OR —
You can use the keyboard: Press LEFT ARROW or DOWN ARROW to move the selected axis to
the left (down), RIGHT ARROW or UP ARROW to move the selected axis to the right (up).
— OR —
Use the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys for a faster scrolling (larger steps): PAGE DOWN to
move to the left (down), PAGE UP to move to the right (up).
Zooming with the mouse or keyboard
1. Click
to enable the zooming.
2. Click the axis you like to zoom.
The mouse pointer becomes a double-headed arrow.
3. While holding down the mouse button, move the mouse up/right to zoom the axis in, and
move the mouse down/left to zoom the axis out.
— OR —
You can use the keyboard: Press LEFT ARROW or DOWN ARROW to zoom the axis out, RIGHT
ARROW or UP ARROW to zoom the axis in.
— OR —
Use the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys for a faster scrolling (larger steps): PAGE DOWN to
zoom out, PAGE UP to zoom in.
Zooming with the zoom box
The zoom box allows the user to outline a region in the display for zooming into. The box can
start at any point, but must be dragged to the lower right to actually cause a zoom. The zoom
action will affect all axes.
1. Click
to enable the zoom box.
2. Move the mouse pointer over the display.
The mouse pointer becomes an arrow with a little box
.
3. Click any point in the display and move the mouse pointer to the lower right.
The zooming box appears around the outlined region.
4. Release the mouse button for zooming into the selected region.
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Zooming with the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons
→ Click
to zoom in all axes or click
to zoom out all axes.
Setting the ranges manually
1. On the View menu, click Display Settings or click
Settings dialog box.
on the toolbar to open the Display
2. Deselect the option Auto Adjustment.
3. Enter the desired values for the minimum and the maximum value of the corresponding axis.
4. Click Apply or OK to confirm the settings.
5. You can switch back to the last ranges settings by clicking the Prev. Min/Max button.
Showing/hiding the data cursor labels
→ Click
to show/hide the labels of the blue and red bars defining the baseline and region of
interest.
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Data tracking settings for online displays
Data tracking means that the display follows the incoming data traces. This can lead to
computer performance problems, which can be solved by choosing a different tracking style or
by switching the tracking off.
The data tracking is switched off automatically if you zoom or scroll the axes manually during
recording. You can switch it on again by clicking
in the upper left corner of the display.
Tracking style
Function
Auto Adjustment
This tracking style ensures that newly added data traces are kept in
the visible display area. The axes are automatically sized to fit the
new data trace.
Scroll Smooth
If the data is off axis, then this tracking mode will adjust the axis to
show the new tracking data at the end of the scale.
Scroll Page
If the data is off axis, then this tracking mode will adjust the axis in
discrete blocks (will show next major tick) to show the new
tracking data at the end of the scale.
Scale Min/Max
This tracking mode will adjust the min and span properties on the
axis to ensure that new data being added to the channel is kept in
the
visible display area.
Keep Min
This tracking mode will keep the minimum and will adjust only the
maximum properties on the axis to ensure that new data being
added to the channel is kept in the visible display area. If tracking
data indicates that the data is below the minimum property of the
axis, then the min value will not be
changed.
Keep Max
This tracking mode will keep the maximum and will adjust only the
minimum properties on the axis to ensure that new data being
added to the channel is kept in the visible display area. If tracking
data indicates that the data is above the maximum property of the
axis, then the max value will not be
changed.
Tracking Off
No tracking, the sizing of the span and position of the axes are
fixed, as specified in the Display Settings dialog box.
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8.2
Virtual Well Plate
8.2.1 Virtual Well Plate
•
Use the File menu (or the corresponding buttons on the toolbar) to handle your files, to open
and save a file, for example. Firstly, create a new file or open a previously saved file when
working with Roboocyte.
•
Be aware that you may only have open one file at a time. Therefore, save the current file first
before opening another.
•
Set the parameters concerning the well plate by using commands from the Plate menu: Select
oocytes for injection or recording; customize and load your own templates.
•
Your settings will be displayed in the well plate view and saved in the corresponding file.
•
Perform an adjustment each time before you start a run.
•
You can customize the view of the virtual well plate, for example you may zoom the well plate
view and you may toggle between different types of viewing recorded oocytes.
8.2.2 New File
Note: Only one file may be open at a time. Please save the current file first, and then open
another one. Otherwise, recent changes of the data will be lost.
1. Click New File
to create a new virtual well plate file.
The Plate Info dialog box opens where you may fill in all information you want to link to the
plate and to the data collected later on.
2. Select either cDNA or mRNA for injection. The appropriate injection depth (see "Settings") is
chosen automatically.
3. Enter the Plate ID and an identifier for the cDNA/mRNA you are going to inject.
4. (Optional) Enter further information about the experiment in the ID and/or Comment box.
The actual date is already preselected, but may be changed by clicking the button on the right
side of the Injection Date dialog box.
5. Click OK if you are finished.
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With default template:
Select this option if you want to create a well plate which already has the default set of
oocytes selected for injection. The standard default template has all oocytes selected for
injection, with H12 set as unavailable. If you like to customize the default template, see also
Setting up a template. You may also select and deselect any wells you like later on using the
Select Oocytes command, whether you have used the option With default template or not.
8.2.3 Open File
You may open previously saved files to continue your experiment, to record a previously
injected plate, to review, analyze and export your data, and so on.
Note: Only one file may be open at a time. Please save the current file first, and then open
another one. Otherwise, recent changes of the data will be lost.
1. On the File menu or on the toolbar, click Open
.
2. Browse your folders and choose the desired file. You may only open Roboocyte files (*.rcd).
3. Click Open.
The file is opened now.
8.2.4 Save File
Note: You have to choose a file name and destination when creating a new file. A local copy of
this file will then be created in the Roboocyte program folder. The local copy will be saved
automatically after a run has been finished or stopped by the user. When you close the
Roboocyte program or unlock the file with the Unlock command, the local copy overwrites the
original file and is removed. There is no Save As command featured in the Roboocyte
software to avoid confusion and mistakes in the file handling. If you need to copy the file to
another location, for example to a portable volume, please use the Windows Explorer.
1. On the File menu or on the toolbar, click Save
.
The current well plate is now saved including all text you entered in the comment box of the
Plate info, the state of the oocytes, and the recorded raw data in the *.rcd file to the
destination you had specified when you created the file. The analysis results (displayed in the
Recordings Display) and the compound information (set up in the Liquid Handling dialog
box) are saved to a Microsoft Access database (default name: PlatesData.mdb)
You may open the file using the Roboocyte software later on to continue your experiment or
to review and evaluate the data.
Hint: You can include save commands in the recording script. For example, the data can be
saved automatically after each processed oocyte or after each compound application. This
helps to prevent data loss, for example in the case of a system error or power failure. Please
refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
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8.2.5 Unlock File
The open Roboocyte (.rcd) file is saved temporarily as a local copy of the original file in the
Roboocyte program folder. This means you can access the data and work on a local computer
while keeping all files on a network server. When you close the Roboocyte program, the local
copy overwrites the original file and is then removed.
If you open a second copy of the same file on the same or another computer, the .rcd file is
locked and opened in a read-only version. This means that you can still review your data and
perform an offline analysis, that is, edit the result list in the Recordings Display. The results
are saved into the database (.mdb file), which is not locked. But you cannot change the .rcd
file itself, for example, change the oocyte selection, or start an injection or recording sequence.
This is very convenient if you want to run an injection or recording sequence while analyzing
the same file on another computer. That means, you can analyze already finished recordings
on one computer while recording from the same well plate on another computer. For example,
you can analyze recordings 1 to 100, which are already finished, while record recordings 101 to
200.
Warning: You should not work on the database, that is, analyze your data, from two (or
more) active Roboocyte programs. Otherwise, the latest changes to the database are saved;
and earlier changes are overwritten, resulting in data loss. For example, if two users change
the region of interest of the same recording on two different computers at the same time,
the user that will save later will overwrite the settings of the other user.
If you want to edit an .rcd file that is already open on another computer and thus is locked,
you can either close the Roboocyte program or unlock the original copy of the file with the
Unlock command on the File menu. You can then open and edit the file on another computer.
8.2.6 Plate Info
When you create a new well plate, you will be asked to choose a well plate type, to enter an ID
for the plate and for the DNA/RNA and to enter the injection date. You may also add further
information on your experiment.
This information is displayed in the Plate Info pane on the bottom left of the injection
window.
The ID and Comment boxes may also be edited directly in this pane; the text in the other
boxes is fixed.
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8.2.7 Well Plate View
•
The well plate view on the top right of the main window depicts your virtual well plate.
Different states of the oocytes are symbolized by different icons (see below). The view is
updated immediately during a run to provide a quick overview of the run.
•
The well plate is only a display, that is, you cannot select oocytes by clicking them in this pane.
Double-click the asterisk symbol on the upper left of the well plate pane or choose the
command Select Oocytes from the Plate menu to open the Select Oocytes dialog box.
•
In Recording mode, you can double-click on recorded wells to open the Recordings Display
and review/analyze your data.
•
The view of the well plate may be customized.
Zooming the well plate pane
You may choose between three discrete zoom levels.
→ On the View menu, choose Small, Medium or Large.
The size of the virtual well plate will be set accordingly.
Hint: Choose Large if you have chosen the Series view option. Choose Small if you need the
space to enlarge the Message/Script Log or the Data Plot.
Icons or series
→ Select either Icons or Series from the View menu.
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This defines how recorded oocytes are displayed in the well plate view.
Icons: Each oocyte is represented by an icon. The icon resembles the state of the oocyte
in the respective well.
Series:The last data trace of an already recorded oocyte is displayed as a thumbnail.
Select this view to quickly look over your recordings during a run.
As the resolution of these small plots is much lower than the data rate, a number of data
points are reduced to one pixel. There are two options to calculate the plotted pixels
from the data points.
Mean: The means of the y-values are plotted, resulting in a normally looking curve. You
may miss fast signals in this mode.
Min/Max: Vertical lines stretching from the maximum to the minimum y-value (of the
reduced data points) are plotted.
For multiple recordings per oocyte: Right-click a well to open a pop-up list and then
click the desired sweep from the list.
Oocyte icons
The following illustration shows the hierarchical order of the states that oocytes can have. The
arrows indicate possible processing paths.
You can select a blank oocyte either for injection or for recording (as a control, for
example). Selected oocytes appear dark gray, marked either with the token INJ (selected for
injection) or REC (selected for recording).
Generally, you will inject an oocyte first, as it is shown on the left side of the illustration.
Injected oocytes are marked with a black triangle. You can select an injected oocyte for
injection again.
You can then select an injected oocyte for recording. A successfully recorded oocyte
appears green. If you have included a viability testing in your recording sequence (Please
refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.), a bad condition of an oocyte is
indicated by a red color. You cannot select bad oocytes for a new recording.
A non-injected recorded oocyte appears yellow.
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Each oocyte icon is defined in the following list.
Blank not selected oocyte
Click Select Oocytes to mark this well for injection or for recording.
Unavailable
This oocyte may not be selected either for injection or for recording.
Selected for injection
If you start an injection sequence, this oocyte will be injected.
Injected
Click Select Oocytes to mark this oocyte for injection again or for recording.
Selected for recording
If you start a recording sequence, this oocyte will be recorded.
Injected and selected for recording
If you start a recording sequence, this oocyte will be recorded.
Recorded, but not injected
The yellow color marks native oocytes.
Injected and recorded
Non-viable oocyte
Use the Reset Well Selection command to mark an oocyte with this icon as non-viable.
Recorded (series view)
Instead of the icon, the data traces of the last recording are shown as a thumbnail.
Switch from Icon to Series on the View menu to obtain this view.
Resetting the state of an oocyte
Use the command Reset Well Selection on the Extras menu to reset the state of an oocyte
(for example, if an injection has not been successful or to mark an oocyte with the red icon as
non-viable).You can only change the state of oocytes one by one, you cannot select whole
rows, for example.
→ Right-click an oocyte and select an oocyte icon from the context menu.
— OR —
Click an oocyte several times until it has the required state. The icon is swapped each time you
click the oocyte.
You can also reset the group to which a recording belongs. See also "Concentration and
Voltage Step Series" in the "Data Analysis and Export" section.
→ Enter the number of the desired group into the text box.
8.2.8 Select Oocytes
Make sure you are in the appropriate mode: Select oocytes for injection in Injection mode.
Likewise, select oocytes for recording in Recording mode.
1. On the Plate menu, click Select Oocytes.
The Select Oocytes dialog box opens.
2. Now just select the oocytes for injection/recording by clicking the corresponding well icons. To
cancel a selection, simply click a marked well once more.
3. Click OK.
Your current selection is displayed in the well plate view.
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How to select an oocyte
→ Click the icon on the top left
to select all oocytes or press CTRL+A.
→ To select a whole row, click the buttons A–H or press SHIFT+A–H. To select a whole column,
click the buttons 1–12 or press CTRL+F1–F12.
→ By right-clicking any of the buttons A–H, you may either choose Select to Top or Select to
Bottom. Likewise, you may decide between Select to Left or Select to Right by rightclicking any of the buttons 1–12. The active selection is highlighted in blue.
→ Select to top: Chooses the right-clicked row and all rows above that row.
→ Select to bottom: Chooses the right-clicked row and all rows below that row.
→ Select to left: Chooses the right-clicked column and all columns left of that column.
→ Select to right: Chooses the right-clicked column and all columns right of that column.
Example: If you right-click D and click Select to Top, you will select all oocytes in rows A–D.
Hint: Use the shortcut keys to customize your plate even easier and faster.
Setting up a template
If you will use an identical selection of oocytes for more than one experiment, it might be
useful to set up a template. You may save various templates with different selections of
oocytes for different experimental setups. If you are going to start a specific injection or
recording run, simply load the appropriate template instead of selecting oocytes again each
time you change the well plate.
1. Make sure you are in the appropriate mode depending on whether you like to set up a
template for injection or for recording.
2. Create a new plate and select the oocytes you like to inject or record.
3. In the Select oocyte dialog box, click Save as Template.
4. Enter a template identifier for this template. You may also scroll the list to overwrite an
already existing template, for example the default template Standard_Template.
5. Click Save.
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Hint: If you save the current setting as the default template Standard_template, the next
time you choose the option With default template when creating a new file, your
customized template will be loaded as the default template.
8.3
Settings and Automated Operation
8.3.1 General Options
The General Options refer to general and basic settings for operating the Roboocyte. Please
define them before you start to work with the Roboocyte.
→ On the Extras menu, click General Options.
Warning: If commands are used in the wrong order, this may lead to a breakage of the
needle/probe or other malfunctions of the device. The Advanced Settings dialog box
should be used by advanced users only.
Gilson
Connected
Select this option if you have a Gilson liquid handler currently in use.
Sound Enabled
Select this option if you have sound messages included in your scripts
to keep you informed during a run. If you do not like to hear any
sound messages, deselect this option.
Starting in
Offline Mode
Select this option if you use the computer mainly in offline mode (to
review and analyze data). The Roboocyte software will always start in
offline mode from now on.
Advanced
Settings
Select this option to expand the Settings dialog box. See also
"Settings for Advanced Users" in the "General Software Features"
chapter.
Plate Type
On the Plate Type list, click the plate type you have currently in use.
See "Sources of Supply" for more information on plate types. Please
make sure that you define the plate type in General Options before
you create a well plate file. Once a well plate has been set up, the
plate type cannot be changed anymore. This is especially important if
you have different plate types in use.
Adjustment
Well Injection
Define here the adjustment well for adjusting the injection needle.
The default position is H12.
Adjustment
Well Recording
Define here the adjustment well for adjusting the TEVC probe. The
default position is H12.
RSL Include
Path
Sets the file path for RSL macro files. See the RSL Parser Help or the
Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more information.
RSL Script
Editor
Sets the file path for the custom script editor that you use for setting
up scripts. The selected program is started when you use the Parse
Script command.
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8.3.2 Settings
In the Settings dialog box, you can modify all important settings for injection and recording
sequences.
→ On the Extras menu, click Settings to open the Settings dialog box.
Hint: All these functions are available in the Adjustment wizard as well. The Adjustment
wizard guides you conveniently through all necessary steps.
Setting the pressure / injection time
See also the section "cDNA/mRNA Injection" for more information.
Holding pressure means the pressure applied to the injection needle any time during the
injection run when the injection pressure is not applied. The holding pressure is important to
ensure that cell debris does not block the needle or that the needle does not drain air inbetween injections. The holding pressure is automatically applied when the injection sequence
is started.
Injection pressure means the pressure applied for injecting the cell. The injection pressure is
usually higher than the holding pressure.
You can turn the wheel with the mouse or press the UP/DOWN keys to adjust the pressure
settings. Use the PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN keys for larger steps.
The pressure settings have to be adjusted according to the specifications of the nucleic acid
used. Some mRNA/cDNAs are more viscous than others, depending for example on the length
and concentration of the mRNA/cDNA fragments. You may begin your first try with standard
values (holding pressure 0.7 bar, injection pressure 3 bar). Adjust the settings if you observe
problems like a clogged needle or an ineffective injection.
→ To apply the holding pressure manually, click Holding Pressure. Use the manually applied
holding pressure to check if the tip of the needle is blocked or filled with air.
→ To apply the injection pressure, click Injection Pressure. Click Injection Shot to apply the
injection pressure for the defined injection time. The injection time can be set by entering a
value between 1 ms and 30 000 ms (= 30 s). Click Holding Pressure and then Injection
Pressure or Injection Shot.
A small droplet of liquid should appear at the point of the needle now. If it does not, the
needle may be blocked or the pressure applied is too low.
→ Center the needle on the adjustment device to watch it under the microscope by clicking
Coarse Pos.
→ Move the injection needle up by clicking Injection Axis Up.
→ Send the carrier backward to its starting position by clicking Carrier Home.
Setting the sampling rate
→ Choose the desired rate from the Sampling Frequency or from the Long Term Frequency
list. The Sampling Frequency defines the sampling rate of the recording; the Longterm
Frequency defines the sampling rate of the Long Term Plot.
Note: You can also set the sampling rates in the script. The settings in the script always
overrule the software settings.
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Checking the electrode impedance
1. Click Resistance Pos.
The TEVC probe is placed into the left dish.
2. Under Electrode Resistance, click M.
The current electrode's resistance is displayed in the box. It should be in the range of 100
kilohms to 1 megohm.
3. Click Resistance Pos again and then Change Probe to change the probe, if the impedance
check has not been successful.
Hint: The impedance of the voltage electrode is generally not important. But if you need to
check it anyway (because you think the capillary might be clogged or there may be another
serious problem with the electrode), you can connect the measuring head the opposite way
(switching the connectors) and then measure the impedance.
Predefined z-arm positions
The predefined z-arm positions for impaling oocytes are calculated from the well bottom
up. The factory-set standard values should be appropriate for most users, but you may want to
optimize them. You can modify these distances in the Settings dialog box. The following
illustration shows the predefined positions and how they relate to each other.
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The numbers in parentheses are the recommended standard values.
•
Injection distance: RNA (800 µm)
•
Injection distance: DNA (300 µm)
•
Recording distance: Liquid (2000 µm)
•
Recording distance: Oocyte (1000 µm)
The appropriate injection distance (RNA or DNA) is chosen according to the created well plate
file (see "New File"). See also: "Strategies for a Successful Injection" in the "cDNA/mRNA
Injection" section.
The recording distance Liquid is used to move the TEVC probe into the fluid in the well (for DC
offset correction) prior to the impalement of the oocyte. The parameter Oocyte is generally
used to (almost) impale the oocyte, followed by a stepwise downward movement (according to
your recording script). Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
During the injection/recording sequence, the z-axis moves from well to well with a defined
distance to the top of the well plate (Well Plate Distance). This distance is calculated from the
z-arm's top position. You can modify this value by editing the parameter ZOutPosition in the
RoCtl.ini file if you need to. The recommended value is "–15000" (= 15 mm).
When a coarse adjustment (command Coarse Pos) is made, the carrier moves to the positions
defined by the last adjustment, and the z-axis is lowered to the last adjustment position as
well, but minus a safety distance (1 mm) (Coarse Pos Distance). This is necessary to avoid
breaking the needle/probe due to variations in the length of the capillaries. You can reset the
Coarse Pos Distance to the default value by clicking Reset in the Adjustment wizard if you
want to install a needle that is significantly longer than the previous one.
Please make sure that the length of capillaries used does generally not differ more than 1 mm.
You can modify the safety distance by editing the parameter ZOffsetSafe in the RoCtl.ini.
The recommended value is "1000" (= 1 mm).
Warning: Editing an INI file may lead to software crashes or wrong movements of the
Roboocyte, which can impair the functionality of the device or even lead to injuries. Only
experienced users should modify an INI file, and always with great care. Always keep a copy
of the original file.
8.3.3 Settings for Advanced Users
You can extend the Settings dialog in the General Options dialog box. In the extended
dialog box, movement commands are available. You can then perform an adjustment in this
dialog box.
Warning: Only experienced users should use the advanced Settings dialog. Commands in
the wrong order may lead to unexpected movements, which can crash the needle or the
probe. Hitting the adjustment device can cause the needle/probe to shatter, possibly
projecting splinters, which can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and this
adjustment should never be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
1. On the Extras menu, click General Options.
2. Select the option Advanced Settings and confirm by clicking OK.
3. On the Extras menu, click Settings.
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Controlling the Roboocyte's movements
The Roboocyte system does not know the absolute positions of the three axes (x/y = carrier, z
= injection needle / probe), but calculates them in relation to their standard reference
positions. Each time you manipulate the carrier or the z-axis by hand (for example to change
the needle/probe), this movement is not registered by the Roboocyte. Therefore, the
Roboocyte estimates a wrong actual position resulting in false movements during the
injection/recording run.
In order to avoid this, you have to define the reference position by positioning the carrier
horizontally and vertically as well as the z-axis of the injection needle / the probe. This
procedure is called Adjustment.
During the adjustment procedure, all axes are moved to their standard reference positions
first (command Ref). Afterward, you will position the z-axis and the carrier such that the
needle/probe is centered precisely on the adjustment well. You will need the provided
stereo microscope and the adjustment device (with crosshairs) to do this.
Move the z-axis carefully to avoid breaking the needle/probe. Use the binoculars to have a
close-up view while you move the axes. The adjustment is complete when the tip of the
needle/probe is centered on the crosshairs of the adjustment device. The tip of the
needle/probe should be as close to the adjustment device as possible without actually
touching it. If the injection needle has a very fine tip, it may touch the device without
breaking.
We recommend that fresh users should not use the Settings dialog box, but use the
Adjustment wizard instead to adjust the injection needle / probe and the carrier.
Warning: You have to adjust the Roboocyte each time before you start an injection or
recording or before you perform other movements with the Roboocyte. The adjustment is
important to ensure that each oocyte is hit precisely during the run and to avoid that the
injection needle or the probe hits the rim of a well by accident. Breakage of the
needle/probe (or even worse) may result from the latter case, so make sure you do not
forget the adjustment!
Roboocyte adjustment
Advanced users may also use the extended Settings dialog box for performing an adjustment.
Warning: Perform all steps exactly in the following order. Make sure you confirm the
settings by clicking Set Adjustment. Otherwise, the adjustment position is not saved.
1. On the Extras menu, click Settings.
The Settings dialog box opens.
2. Click Ref.
The carrier and both z-axes move to their reference 0 positions.
3. Put the adjustment device (with crosshairs) in the selected adjustment well of the plate,
usually H12.
4. Adjust the selected z-axis by clicking the PAGE UP / PAGE DOWN keys on your keyboard (or
the arrow buttons on the z-axis adjustment panel).
5. Adjust the carrier by clicking the arrow keys on your keyboard (or the respective buttons on
the carrier adjustment panel).
6. Click Set Adjustment to confirm the new adjustment position.
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General Software Features
Important: When you click Set Adjustment, the positions are saved immediately. The OK and
Cancel buttons do not have any effect on the adjustment.
Note: If you have moved either the z-axis or the carrier by hand (for example to change the
needle or probe) or used one of the Ref commands again after the adjustment process,
you have to readjust the z-axis and the carrier.
Detailed description of the commands
Reference movement:
All axes (XYZ) move to their reference 0 positions. This step is
absolutely obligatory for an adjustment, because the 0 position is the
only defined position of the Roboocyte. All other movements are
performed relative to this position.
Warning: If you have used this command, you must make an
adjustment afterward. Otherwise, wrong movements can
occur.
Choosing the z-axis:
First, choose the z-axis you like to adjust. The z-axis adjustment will
apply to the selected axis only.
Warning: Do not switch the axes during an adjustment.
Improper settings and wrong movements may occur as a
result.
Coarse adjustment:
The carrier and the selected z-axis will move, and as a result the selected
z-axis will be more or less centered on the chosen adjustment well. The
z-axis moves down according to the last adjustment minus a safety value
of 1 mm (because it might be that a longer needle is being used than
before).
The coarse positioning is executed according to the last adjustment you
have made. Coarse Pos is not necessary to achieve a successful
adjustment, but is provided as an option to shorten the manual
adjustment procedure. In any case, you have to fine-tune the
adjustment manually afterward.
Warning: Do not use this command if you have installed a
needle/probe that is more than 1 mm longer than the last
time you made an adjustment. The automatic movement of
the z-axis may result in breaking the needle/probe.
Setting the speed:
Sets the intensity of the response to the movement commands.
If you select Fast, the movement will be carried out in large steps. This is
convenient to achieve a coarse adjustment.
If you choose Slow, the movement will be carried out in very small
single steps. Switch to slow to fine-tune the adjustment.
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Adjusting the z-axis:
Use the Z controls to adjust the position of the z-axis. Use the up and
down buttons on the control panel or the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
keys on your keyboard to move the selected z-axis up and down,
respectively.
The selected z-axis moves to its reference 0 position. Use this
command if you have manipulated the axis with your hand after the last
reference movement, for example to change the needle/probe.
Moves the selected z-axis up to the top position.
Click Coarse Pos to move the axis back to the adjustment device.
Adjusting the carrier:
Use the XY controls to adjust the position of the carrier. Use the up and
down buttons on the control panel or the UP and DOWN arrows on your
keyboard to move the carrier backward (toward the traverse of the
Roboocyte) or forward (away from the traverse), respectively.
Use the left and right buttons or the LEFT and RIGHT arrows to move
the carrier to the left or to the right, respectively.
You have to click inside the control panel to enable the arrow keys on
your keyboard, which is indicated by a light border around the control
panel.
Confirming and saving the adjustment:
Click here to confirm your settings. Only the latest settings of the
adjustment will be saved and overwrite previous settings. If necessary,
repeat the steps of the adjustment process and confirm the new settings
by clicking Set Adjustment again.
If you do not confirm the adjustment by clicking Set Adjustment, the
settings you have made will have no effect. This step is essential for
completing the adjustment process. You cannot cancel the adjustment
once you have confirmed the settings by clicking Set Adjustment. The
OK and the Cancel button have no effect on the adjustment.
Additional commands:
Moves selected z-axis to the top position.
Moves carrier to the front in a convenient position for replacing the
well plate.
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8.3.4 Loading and Parsing a Script
The high degree of automation of the Roboocyte workstation is achieved by using scripts.
Scripts are small text files containing commands. The Roboocyte processes these commands and
follows the sequence that the user has specified in the script. All experimental settings are
defined within the script. Once the appropriate script is loaded into the Roboocyte software,
simply click the Run button to start the robot. The script is then performed without the need
for further customization and supervision.
RSL, the Roboocyte Scripting Language, has been specifically designed for the Roboocyte.
Each user can write own scripts with any basic text editor. Included in the Roboocyte software
package is the RSL Parser, a very basic text editor designed for settings up RSL scripts, and
UltraEdit, a standard text editor that has been specifically designed for such tasks as
programming or scripting. UltraEdit is recommended for advanced users who wish more
convenient features, for example a customizable syntax highlighting, wordwrap and printing
options, and comparison of two scripts.
It is very important that a script is set up very carefully and checked thoroughly before starting
it. The RSL Parser has two important features that help you checking the syntax and context of
a script. The functionality of the RSL Parser and the RSL Parser Help can be easily integrated
into UltraEdit as well. Thus, you can use either the RSL Parser or UltraEdit for setting up and
checking scripts. But these checks do not look for logical errors. Always set up scripts very
carefully and double-check a script each time before loading and starting it, to avoid
unexpected results and hardware damage.
Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more information about setting up and checking
scripts, and about configuring UltraEdit.
You can only run injection sequences in Injection mode, and recording sequences in
Recording mode. The currently active script is shown in the Script pane.
→ On the Run menu click Parse Script to open the currently selected script with your default
editor (RSL Parser or UltraEdit). You can now edit and check the script, or set up a new script.
→ On the Run menu, click Load Script to load a new script. Click
Injection Script or a Recording Script.
to select and load either an
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→ You can pick all recently used scripts from the Script List next to the toolbar.
8.3.5 Start, Pause and Stop Run
Once you have loaded a script, start the injection/recording sequence by a single mouse click.
Hint: You can include automated break conditions in your script. For example, the recording
sequence can be cancelled completely if a DC offset correction could not be established, and a
new TEVC probe needs to be installed. Please refer to the RSL Help or manual for more
information.
Warning: Always make sure that a proper adjustment has been made, and that you have not
moved the carrier by hand or changed the needle afterward. Also, make sure that a valid
script has been loaded and that it has been set up properly. Wrong movements of the z-axis
and the carrier can cause the glass capillaries of the injection needle / TEVC probe to shatter,
possibly projecting splinters, which can be dangerous. Eye protection should be used, and
the injection sequence should never be observed up close with an unprotected eye.
Starts the injection/recording sequence defined by the loaded script. The run will proceed
in the following order: From left to right and from top to bottom. It will run until all
selected oocytes have been processed or until paused/stopped by the user. You cannot
change any settings or switch the mode during a run.
Pauses the injection/recording sequence. When you start the run again, it will continue at
the point it was interrupted. Note that most commands are unavailable during a run, even
when the run is paused.
Stops the injection/recording sequence. The carrier and the z-axis move to their starting
positions and the data of the file will be saved. You may now, for example, alter your
oocyte selection. When you click Start again, the run will be started again, beginning at
the first selected oocyte.
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8.3.6 Script/Message Log
The Script/Message Log provides more detailed information on the proceedings of the
injection/recording run than the well plate view does. When the run is started, the Script Log
lists the script commands being executed at the moment. You may need this information for
troubleshooting.
The Message Log comments each step of the experiment, for example which oocyte is
injected or recorded at the moment. If you manually pause or stop the run, this is also
mentioned in the Message Log. You may scroll the Message Log to review the proceedings
during or after the run.
The Message Log and the script are saved for later reference. You can review your log file in
the Message Log Display.
Hint: You can easily add your own custom messages to scripts and you can also replay text
messages as sound, for example if you want to supervise the run from a distance. Please refer
to the RSL Help or manual for more information.
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9
Service and Maintenance
9.1
About Service and Maintenance
Please make sure that you read this chapter thoroughly. Proper handling and cleaning of the
Roboocyte will ensure reliable and long life time of the equipment. Most often, troubles are
simply due to mishandling.
See also "Troubleshooting".
9.2
Cleaning the x/y Table
You prevent a malfunction of the carrier by cleaning the x/y table regularly.
Warning: Water may provoke a corrosion of the carrier. Residues of cleaning agents may
interfere with the function of the carrier or damage the surface of the x/y table. Do not use
an aqueous solution or cleaning agents.
→ Use a soft tissue and pure alcohol (100 %) to clean the x/y table.
9.3
Replacing the Injection Needle Holder
→ Replace the red seal of the injection needle holder if the needle cannot be fixed tightly
enough.
→ Replace the black O-ring of the injection needle holder if compressed air escapes.
→ Replace the holder itself if you observe any distortions or discolorations. Refer to the Appendix
for sources of supply.
9.4
Storing and Replacing the Measuring Head
The command Park Position moves the TEVC probe into the right small dish on the carrier.
Use this command to park the probe for short waiting periods in-between recording
sequences. We recommend this especially to prevent fluid leaking on the magnetic x/y plate.
For longer periods of time, for example over night, we recommend to let the probe hang in
the air.
Hint: You can include a movement to the Park Position in your scripts, for example at the end
of a run. See the RSL Parser Help or the Roboocyte Scripting Language manual for more
information.
MCS recommends replacing the measuring head about once a week. It should be replaced if
the electrode impedance is not in the range of 100 kilohms to 1 megohm, or if a DC offset
correction cannot be established, or if you observe other malfunctions.
9.5
Maintaining the Tubing
→ Rinse the perfusion system with distilled water after each use to prevent contaminations.
→ To prolong tubing life, remove the tubing from the valves each time you are not going to use
them for a longer period of time (over night, for example).
→ High quality tubing may be used several months without performance loss. However, we
suggest exchanging the tubing monthly, or more often, especially if you observe problems with
deterioration or contamination. Refer to the Appendix for sources of supply.
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10
Appendix
10.1 Technical Specifications
10.1.1 Roboocyte Robot
Operating temperature
Storage temperature
10 °C to 20 °C
0 °C to 50 °C
Dimensions (W x D x H)
390 mm x 360 mm x 500 mm
Weight
34.5 kg
Supply voltage
115 VAC Normal: 90 VAC to 132 VAC @ 60+/-3 Hz, 230 VAC
Normal: 180 VAC to 264 VAC @ 50+/-3 Hz
Supply current
1.6 A maximum RMS @ 100 VAC, 0.8 A maximum RMS @ 240
VAC
Supply pressure
5 to 10 bar
Compressed air
consumption
20 l/min
Injection pressure
0 to 3 bar
Positioning accuracy
20 µm in x/y dimensions and 33 µm in z dimension
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10.1.2 ClampAmp - Digital TEVC Amplifier
The ClampAmp represents an integrated digital TEVC amplifier. Headstages are already
included. The amplifier operates fully automatically and computer-controlled. It achieves an
active bath clamp with two independent reference electrodes.
Connectors, viewed from the front and from left to right: Current electrode (I), bath reference
for the current electrode (RI), voltage electrode (U), bath reference for the voltage electrode
(RU).
Input voltage (voltage
electrode)
–500 mV to + 500 mV
Input voltage resolution
(voltage electrode)
0.125 mV
Output voltage (current
electrode)
–32 V to + 32 V
Output voltage
resolution (current
electrode)
1 mV
Output current (current
electrode)
–32000 nA to + 32000 nA
Output current
resolution (current
electrode)
1 nA
Clamp voltage setpoint
–500 mV to + 500 mV
Clamp voltage setpoint
resolution
1 mV
Typical rise time in
voltage clamp mode
1 ms
Recommended electrode
resistance
100 kΩ to 1 MΩ
Sampling rate
2 kHz, 1 kHz, 500 Hz, ... 1 Hz
Data resolution
16 bits
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10.1.3 External Power Supply
Warning: Liquids may cause short circuits or other damage. Keep the power supply and the
power cords always dry. Do not handle it with wet hands.
Warning: If the air cannot circulate freely around the external power supply, the device may
overheat. Do not shield the power supply by laying anything on top of it.
Operating temperature
0 °C to 40 °C
Storage temperature
–20 °C to 80 °C
Dimensions (W x D x H)
132 mm x 42 mm x 62 mm
Weight
565 g
Input voltage
115 VAC Normal: 90 VAC to 132 VAC @ 60+/–3 Hz, 230 VAC
Normal: 180 VAC to 264 VAC @ 50+/–3 Hz
Input current
1.6 A maximum RMS @ 100 VAC, 0.8 A maximum RMS @ 240
VAC
Safety standards
The adapter shall be certified with the following safety standards.
1. UL 1950 (Safety of Information Technology Equipment) listed. "USA"
2. CSA C22.2, No. 234 Level 3 output, class 2 output. "CANADA"
3. TUV-PS.DIN VDE 0805 /05,90 EN 60950. "GERMANY" "EUROPE"
10.1.4 Perfusion System
General properties
8-channel (R8System) or 16-channel (R16System) gravity-based
pinch valve system with integrated pump valve and external
vacuum pump
Flow rate
Approximately 3–4 ml/min
Interface
Full integration of an external liquid handler (GILSON 222 XL
Liquid Handler) via RS232 serial port
10.1.5 Software Package
Operating system
Windows 2000, Windows XP, English and German versions
supported
Data export
ASCII file format
Interface
Connection to the Roboocyte via Ethernet
Database
Linkage to Microsoft Access database
Script editors
RSL Parser, UltraEdit (from IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.)
10.1.6 Stereo Microscope
Magnification
30 x
Ocular scale with 100
fine divisions
1 fine division = 33 µm
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10.1.7 Model Test Cell
Electrode resistance
470 kΩ
Leak resistance
100 kΩ
Membrane capacitance
100 nF
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Glossary
10.2 Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes
10.2.1 About Preparation of Xenopus Oocytes
The materials and methods described in the following are kindly provided by the Bayer AG,
Leverkusen. The described procedures have been optimized over several years for best
performance of the oocytes and highest throughput. We recommend that you follow the
instructions for obtaining best results. Refer to standard protocols if you need more detailed
information on the subject.
Warning: Only qualified personnel should be allowed to perform laboratory work. Always
make sure you fulfill the requirements of local regulations and laws. Work according to
good laboratory practice to obtain best results and to minimize risks.
10.2.2 Materials
Recommended products are listed under "Sources of supply".
Biological materials
•
Female frogs of Xenopus laevis
Technical Equipment
•
Shaker for the tubes (during defolliculation)
•
Stereo microscope (or checking and selecting oocytes)
•
(Optional) Tecan Columbus Microplate Washer
•
96 well plates, non-treated polystyrene, conical bottom
It is very important that the well plates are produced carefully and have minimum variations.
Do not use coated plates, because oocytes will not adhere to the well bottom of coated plates.
Check each single plate before use. The plate should be even and it should not be distorted in
any way.
Note: If you use warped plates, you will encounter problems during injection or recording.
Check each plate carefully before use.
•
Oocyte filter
For a coarse selection of oocytes according to the size:
Remove the bottom of a 50 ml Falcon tube. Place a mesh with an 800 µm grid over the cut end
and fix it with glue.
•
Oocyte transfer pipette
•
Pipette for handling oocytes
•
Large petri or cell culture dishes, 100 mm
•
Petri dishes, 60 mm
•
Beaker, 100 ml
•
Razor blade
•
Forceps
•
Parafilm
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•
General laboratory equipment
Chemicals
•
Collagenase
For defolliculation:
Fresh 1.5–2 mg/ml collagenase in Barth’s solution without Calcium (concentration has to be
optimized according to the collagenase batch and experimental conditions, see also chapter
"Defolliculation"). Do not prepare solutions in advance as collagenase activity may decrease
rapidly even if the solution is stored at –20 °C.
Collagenase from Cl. histolyticum ca. 0.17–0.28 U/mg (according to Wünsch, 1963) lyophilized
•
Gentamicin
Stock solution: 50 µg/ml gentamicin (free base) in Barth’s solution. 1 ml Aliquots with 50 mg/ml
gentamicin (free base) are stored at –20 °C
Working solution: Dilute 1 ml of gentamicin stock in 1 l Barth's solution.
Gentamicin sulfate salt, potency approx. 600 µg Gentamicin per mg
•
Barth’s solution
pH 7.4 (with NaOH)
88 mM NaCl
2.4 mM NaHCO3
1 mM KCl
0.33 mM Ca(NO3)2 * 4 H2O
0.41 mM CaCl2 * 2 H2O
0.82 mM MgSO4 * 7 H2O
5 mM Tris/HCl
•
Barth’s solution without Ca2+
pH 7.4 (with NaOH)
88 mM NaCl
2.4 mM NaHCO3
1 mM KCl
0.82 mM MgSO4 * 7 H2O
5 mM Tris/HCl
•
Frog Ringer's solution (for perfusion)
NaCl 115,0 mM
KCl 2.5 mM
CaCl2 1.8 mM
HEPES 10 mM
pH=7.2 / Osmolarity: 240 mOsm/kg
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Glossary
10.2.3 Oocyte Removal
1. Remove the appropriate amount of ovarian tissue surgically from one side of the frog. Please
refer to standard protocols on this subject.
2. Immediately transfer the portion of removed oocytes to a petri dish containing Barth's solution
without Ca2+.
10.2.4 Defolliculation
Isolated oocytes are enveloped in a tough follicle cell layer. The follicle cell layer should be
removed completely by collagenase digestion. It does not disturb the recording, but it causes
trouble when plating oocytes into well plates. Remaining pieces of follicular tissue causes
oocytes to stick to the walls. Oocytes will not move into correct positions in the middle of a
well by themselves.
The whole procedure should be completed after about 2–2.5 hours. Please adjust the
collagenase concentration if this is not the case.
1. Transfer the ovarian lobes into a new large petri or cell culture dish (for example 100 mm
Falcon) filled with Barth’s without Ca2+.
2. Divide the tissue with a razor blade and a forceps into smaller parts (approximately 0.5 mm3).
3. Put the clumps into 50 ml Falcon tubes with collagenase in Barth’s without Ca2+. A volume of up
to 7.5 ml of tissue can be put into a single tube. For more tissue, use an additional tube.
Otherwise, it would take too much time to separate the oocytes by collagenase digestion.
4. Put the tubes onto the mixer and let them shake gently for 120 minutes at room temperature.
Check the progress after 90 min (then every 15 min) and shake the tube vigorously to
accelerate the process.
5. If all oocytes are isolated and the first of them are already defolliculated, wash them
extensively with Barth’s solution (minimum of 5 times with 30 ml). If not, put them back onto
the mixer for up to 30 min.
6. Then fill up the tube (approx. to 45 ml) and put it back onto the mixer for 10 minutes.
7. Change the solution to Barth’s without Ca2+ and put it onto the mixer again for approx. 10
minutes.
All oocytes should be defolliculated now. Shake the tube vigorously to remove the follicle cells
completely, if necessary.
8. Wash the oocytes with Barth’s solution (2 x 30 ml).
10.2.5 Selecting Good Oocytes
Rough selection by filtration
1. Fill 50 ml of Barth's solution into a 100 ml beaker. Place the oocyte filter into the beaker.
The filter should be immersed in the fluid.
2. Pipette an amount of oocytes onto the filter. Approximately half the filter should be covered
with oocytes. Too many oocytes on the filter will lead to an inefficient filtration.
3. Gently move the filter about two centimeters up and down (in the fluid) to separate the
oocytes by size.
4. Use the transfer pipette to place the residual oocytes into a 60 mm petri dish filled with Barth's
+ gentamicin.
5. The filtered oocytes are incubated at 19 °C for 1 h.
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Note: The incubation step is necessary for identifying damaged oocytes in the next step.
Fine selection
→ Use a stereo microscope and the provided pipette to check each single oocyte for the criteria
mentioned in the following.
Outer form:
•
No visible damage of the cell
•
Two-colored (dark and light brown), well separated colors
•
No residues of follicular tissue
Size:
•
About 1.2 mm
Note: Selecting oocytes is an important step. Perform it very carefully to obtain best results.
10.2.6 Plating Oocytes
You need a well plate filled with Barth's + gentamicin (see "Washing Oocytes").
1. Aspirate an amount of oocytes by the provided transfer pipette.
2. Drop one oocyte in each of the wells of the plate carefully.
The oocytes should settle on the well bottom with the animal pole up.
3. Check the position of each oocyte to complete the preparation. Correct it carefully by using a
pipette, if necessary. A manual correction should be necessary for less than five percent of the
oocytes, if the follicle cells have been removed completely.
4. Seal the well plate with Parafilm and incubate it at 19 °C until use. Sealing with Parafilm is
necessary to avoid evaporation of the liquid.
The oocytes will have adhered to the well bottom after about 2 to 3 hours. Do not use or wash
the cells before. Best results are obtained if oocytes have been incubated over night before
use.
10.2.7 Washing Oocytes
Wash the oocytes approximately every second day for best performance. For more
convenience, oocytes can be washed automatically by a cell washer.
Pre-fill the wells with about 200 µl Barth's + gentamicin before plating the oocytes.
In the following, the parameters for use with the Tecan Microplate washer are provided. Refer
to the Tecan user manual for more information.
Note: First, you have to define the plate-type specific parameters according to the plate type
you use. Choose Flat as bottom form. Refer to the Tecan user manual to do so. Replace the
parameters Plate No. and Plate Name in the programs below accordingly.
Hint: It is not necessary to wash oocytes directly before starting a recording, because the well
content is exchanged by the perfusion anyway.
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Glossary
Program for filling the well plate
Use this program to fill the well plate with Barth's + gentamicin before plating the oocytes.
Program parameters:
Program Name: FILL
Program Locked: Yes
Manifold: 8
Plate: Nr: 1
Aspirate Rate: 1
Dispense Rate: 1
Crosswise: No
Mode: Strip Mode
Select Strips: Yes
Printout: Yes
Plate Name: 1
Bottom form: Flat
Final Aspirate: No
Program-Steps:
1:
Cycle Begin: 1
2:
DISP
3:
Cycle Repeat: 1
4:
END
Overflow
CH:2
250µL
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Program for washing oocytes
Use this program to wash the oocytes with the Tecan washer approximately each second day
with Barth's + gentamicin.
Note: Do not wash the oocytes before they have attached to the well bottom, that is, after an
incubation of at least two to three hours, recommended over night. Otherwise, they will be
washed away and may block the manifold of the washer. Few oocytes that have not attached
properly to the well bottom may be washed away during the procedure. This is okay, because
these oocytes would not give good results.
Program Parameters:
Program Name: WASH
Program locked:Yes
Manifold: 8
Plate: Nr: 1
Crosswise: No
Mode: Strip Mode
Aspirate Rate: 1
Dispense Rate: Drip
Select Strips: Yes
Printout: Yes
Plate Name: 1
Bottom form: Flat
Final Aspirate: No
Program-Steps:
1:
Cycle Begin: 1
2:
ASP
2sec
3:
WASH
Bottom
CH:2
400µL
8mm/s
4:
WASH
Bottom
CH:2
400µL
8mm/s
5:
WASH
Overflow
CH:2
200µL
8mm/s
6:
Cycle Repeat: 1
7:
END
130
8mm/s
Glossary
10.3 Sources of Supply
10.3.1 Sources of Supply
We recommend the use of the products tested with the Roboocyte system. You can use any
equivalent equipment as well.
Well plates
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
PS-Microplate, 96
Well V-Shape
651101
651161
Well plate, clear
polystyrene, nontreated, conical
Greiner Bio-One GmbH
www.greinerbioone.com
Nunc
MicroWellTMPlates
249570 nonsterile
249662
sterile
96 MicroWellTM Plate,
Polystyrene, clear,
conical bottom, nontreated
Nunc
www.nuncbrand.com
Well plate
Greiner with cut
open well
WPG
PS-Microplate, 96 Well
V-Shape from Greiner,
well H12 is cut open
Well plate
Greiner with cut
open well
WPN
96 MicroWell® Plate
from Nunc, well H12 is
cut open
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Adjustment
device for Greiner
plates
ADG
For adjusting the
Roboocyte, for PSMicroplates from
Greiner
Adjustment
device for Nunc
plates
ADN
For adjusting the
Roboocyte, for 96
MicroWellTM Plate from
Nunc
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
Needle holder 1.0
mm
NH1.0
1 needle holder for
needles with OD 1.0
mm, 2 replacement
seals, 2 O-rings
Needle holder 1.5
mm
NH1.5
1 needle holder for
needles with OD 1.5
mm, 2 replacement
seals, 2 O-rings
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Injection pipettes
IP
Borosilicate glass
capillaries, ID 0.78 mm,
OD 1 mm, length
approx. 7 mm, tip
opening approx. 6 µm
Microloader tips
5242 956.003
Pipette tip for filling
microinjection
capillaries
Injection needles
www.eppendorf.com
131
Roboocyte User Manual
Perfusion system
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
4-channel manifold
MF4
8-channel manifold
MF8
For connecting the
tubing to the
measuring head
16-channel manifold
MF16
Multi Channel Systems
MCS GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Laboflex Silicone
Tubing 13040
SI0,8NA1,6
ID 0.8 (1/32'') mm OD
1.6 (1/16'') mm
Kronlab GmbH
www.kronlab.com
Straight through
connector
N410-6
400 Series Barbs, for
1.5 mm (1/16'') ID
tubing,
polypropylene
Value Plastics, Inc.
www.valueplastics.com
Straight through
reduction connector
N420/410-6
400 Series Barbs, for
1.5 mm (1/16'') ID
and 2.25 mm ID
(3/32'') tubing,
polypropylene
Straight through
reduction connector
N430/410-6
400 Series Barbs, for
1.5 mm (1/16'') ID
and 3 mm ID (1/8'')
tubing,
polypropylene
Female luer Thread
Style connector
FTLL410-9
400 Series Barbs, for
1.5 mm (1/16'') ID
tubing,
polycarbonate
Laboflon Tygon
tubing R-3603
TY1,6RN3,2
ID 1.6 mm (1/16''),
OD 3.2 mm (1/8'')
(as waste hose, for
connecting the
perfusion outlet of
the TEVC probe to
the aspiration pump)
Laboflon Tygon
tubing R-3603
TY3,2RN4,8
ID 3.2 mm (1/8'')), OD
4.8 mm (3/16'')
(as waste hose, for
connecting the
aspiration pump to
the waste bottle)
Hose nipple with
hose nozzle
8751-D1
For tubing ID 1.6 mm
(1/16''), OD 3.2 (1/8'')
(for the coupling on
the front of the valve
stand)
Hose nipple with
hose nozzle
8751-D2
For tubing ID 3.2 mm
(1/8'')
(for the coupling on
the back of the valve
stand)
B-D Disposable
syringes
U-07940-24
Luer lock tips, 60 ml,
30 pieces/box
132
Kronlab GmbH
www.kronlab.com
Otto Bürkle GmbH
www.buerkle.de/index-e.htm
Cole Parmer
www.coleparmer.com
Glossary
(for the use as
reservoirs)
Tygon pump tubing
yellow/yellow
ID 1.42 mm, OD 2.22
mm, 2-stop color
coded tubing
(for the Minipuls 3
peristaltic pump)
Available from several
providers
Gilson, Inc.
www.gilson.com
GILSON 222 XL Code
21 rack
150422
for 60 13x100 mm
tubes, 9 ml
GILSON 222 XL Code
24 rack
150427
for 14 28x57/60 mm
scintillation vials
GILSON 222 XL Code
60 rack
2954651
for 4 180 ml glass or
250 ml
polypropylene
bottles
GILSON 222 XL 4x96
standard or deep
well holder
2704454
holder for four
standard or deep
well microplates
GILSON 222 XL liquid
handler
Gilson XL
222
Including Minipuls 3
peristaltic pump
Multi Channel Systems
MCS GmbH
Please contact your local
retailer.
www.multichannelsystems.com
TEVC Recording
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
Model test cell
TO
For amplifier testing
TEVC probe
MH
4 Ready to Use TEVC
probes per unit
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Microloader tips
5242 956.003
Pipette tip for filling
the glass capillaries
www.eppendorf.com
The following components are recommended if you like to build your own TEVC probes.
Blank measuring
head
BMH
For building custom
TEVC probes, with
four tinned
connectors for an
easy plugging of the
silver wire into the
socket
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Silver wire
783000
Wire, silver, 99.99%
pure, bare, hard as
drawn, 0.015" +/.0003". (0.381mm +/.0077mm) diameter
A-M Systems
www.a-msystems.com
Labomedic PETubing 46470
PE0,76MT1,22
ID 0.76 mm,
OD 1.22 mm
(for the perfusion
inlet and outlet)
Kronlab GmbH
www.kronlab.com
133
Roboocyte User Manual
Labomedic PETubing 46468
PE0,58MT0,96
ID 0.58 mm,
OD 0.96 mm
(for the reference
electrode guiding)
Oocyte preparation
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
Oocyte filter
For selecting oocytes
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Vari-Mix Aliquot
Mixer, Type
48700
(for shaking the tubes
during defolliculation)
Barnstead International
www.barnsteadthermolyne.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
Olympus SZH
Zoom Microscope
Magnification range
7.5x to 64x
(or checking and
selecting oocytes)
Olympus
www.olympus.com
Tecan Columbus
Microplate
Washer
Tecan
washer
Tecan 96-well plate
washer, with drip
mode option and 8
channel manifold
(for automated oocyte
washing)
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
BD Falcon™ Style
Standard Dishes
353003
100 x 20 mm
BD Biosciences
www.bdbiosciences.com
BD Falcon™
Conical
Centrifuge Tubes
352098
50 ml, high clarity
polypropylene
Collagenase NB4
17454
From Cl. histolyticum,
lyophilized
(for defolliculation)
SERVA Electrophoresis GmbH
www.serva.de
Gentamicin
sulfate salt
G3632
Potency: approx. 600
µg gentamicin base
per mg
Sigma
www.sigmaaldrich.com
Accessories
Product
Product
Number
Description
Supplier
Air compressor
AC
Air compressor from
JunAir. This
compressor supplies
oil and water free
compressed air. It
fulfills all
requirements for use
with the Roboocyte.
Multi Channel Systems MCS
GmbH
www.multichannelsystems.com
Please contact your local
retailer.
134
Glossary
10.4 Contact Information
10.4.1 Contact Information
Local retailer
Please see the list of official Roboocyte distributors on the MCS web site.
User forum
The Multi Channel Systems User Forum provides the opportunity for you to exchange your
experience or thoughts with other users worldwide.
Mailing list
If you have subscribed to the Roboocyte Mailing List, you will be automatically informed about
new software releases, upcoming events, and other news on the product line. You can
subscribe to the list on the MCS web site.
www.multichannelsystems.com
135
11
Index
137
display settings...................................97
A
Adjustment
adjustment well ................................108
advanced settings ............................111
Auto Adjustment of online displays ....97
for injection.........................................29
for recording .......................................48
Advanced Settings.......................108, 111
Amp Limit...............................................95
Amplifier
DC offset correction .....................52, 82
I coefficient .........................................86
leak current ........................................52
membrane potential ...........................52
optimizing ...........................................86
oscilloscope........................................52
P coefficient........................................86
parameters .........................................86
recording ............................................37
technical specifications ....................122
troubleshooting...................................95
voltage steps ......................................89
Analysis
data ....................................................60
leak subtraction ..................................40
Application
of compounds.....................................71
ASCII
data export .........................................65
exporting results in ASCII format .......69
Aspiration
operating the pump ............................73
setting up the pump............................13
start and stop .....................................90
technical specifications ....................123
B
Barth's solution ....................................125
Buttons ............................................93, 94
C
Cables
connecting the aspiration pump .........13
connecting the Roboocyte .................10
Carrier
adjusting position (injection)...............29
adjusting position (recording).............48
adjustment of....................................111
connecting the carrier.........................10
changing well plate ................................27
Clamp
about the clampamp...........................37
Clamp Control ....................................54
current ................................................89
optimizing ...........................................86
technical specifications ....................122
voltage................................................89
Clamp Control
ClampAmp .............................................86
Clean
cleaning the x/y table........................119
rinsing the tubings ..............................72
Collagenase.........................................125
Comment
entering comments.............................59
listing comments.................................59
Compound
appplication ........................................71
aspiration............................................73
compound list .....................................73
Compressed air
air compressor..................................131
air pressure ..........................................2
compressed air hose ............................2
connecting the pressure line ..............10
Computer ...........................................8, 15
Concentration series
setting up............................................73
Connect
Minipuls ..............................................12
Connectors
for tubings.........................................131
of the suction pump ............................13
Roboocyte's rear panel ......................10
z-axis ..................................................46
Contact information..............................135
Continue Script ......................................81
Convert All
to ASCII ..............................................69
Convert Selected List Items
to ASCII ..............................................69
Converting
graph to ASCII....................................65
raw data to ASCII .........................65, 70
raw data to Pulse (HEKA) ..................69
results to ASCII ............................65, 69
results to Excel .............................68, 69
results to Pulse (HEKA)......................69
Copy
to clipboard in Manual Mode ..............81
Create
autocreating concentration series ......73
compound list .....................................73
new database .....................................17
script .................................................115
well plate file.....................................101
Current
clamp ..................................................89
leak current.........................................88
D
Daily report ............................................64
Data
138
Index
analysis ..............................................60
Data Plot settings ...............................97
display ................................................60
excluding bad recordings ...................60
export .................................................65
graphing .............................................63
leak subtraction ..................................40
overlay plot.........................................63
recording ......................................37, 54
results.................................................60
sorting.................................................63
tracking...............................................97
Database
compound list .....................................73
Database Conversion Tool ................17
linking .................................................17
moving................................................17
recordings ..........................................59
renaming ............................................17
Date
date and time of recording .................59
date of run ..........................................65
E
Electrodes
switching from voltage to current
electrode.............................................82
Ethernet
TCP/IP Settings..................................15
Excel
importing/exporting a compound list ..73
Exporting
compound list to Excel .......................73
graph to ASCII....................................65
raw data to ASCII .........................65, 70
raw data to Pulse (HEKA) ..................69
results to ASCII ............................65, 69
results to Excel .............................68, 69
results to Pulse (HEKA)......................69
RoboDataTool ....................................67
Extras menu...........................................93
Extremum
detecting extremum............................54
DC Offset Correction .............................82
F
Defolliculation ......................................127
File menu
about...................................................93
New ..................................................101
Offline Mode .......................................18
Open.................................................102
Save .................................................102
design/building.......................................37
Display
Clamp Control ....................................54
compound list .....................................73
data ........................................54, 60, 63
Drift Correction ...................................60
Leak Control.......................................54
Leak Subtraction ..........................54, 60
Long Term Plot...................................52
Message Log Display.........................65
monitoring ..........................................52
oocyte icons .......................................44
oscilloscope..................................52, 54
overlay plot.........................................63
Recordings Display ......................59, 60
results.................................................60
Settings ..............................................56
settings of...........................................97
Test Mode ..........................................81
Division
of ocular scale ............................31, 123
DNA/RNA
adjusting volume ................................31
concentration......................................22
filling injection needle .........................27
setting pressure and time...................31
storage ...............................................22
Filling
injection needle ..................................27
reservoirs............................................72
TEVC probe with KCl .........................46
Fluid
aspiration............................................73
Frog Ringer's .......................................125
G
General Options.....................................19
Gentamicin...........................................125
Gilson liquid handler
enabling..................................... 19, 108
installing .............................................12
sources of supply .............................131
using .............................................73, 91
Graph
data.....................................................63
overlay ................................................63
Greiner
sources of supply for well plates ......131
Documentation
compound list .....................................73
report ..................................................64
Script/Message Log .........................117
Groups
of recordings.......................................60
Drug
application ..........................................71
aspiration............................................73
compound list .....................................73
HEKA (Pulse) Format ............................69
H
Help
Help menu ..........................................93
Hld Pressure ................................. 31, 109
139
Roboocyte User Manual
sources of supply .............................131
using .............................................73, 91
Holding current ......................................89
Holding voltage
voltage steps ......................................89
I
I coefficient ............................................86
Impaling oocytes....................................84
Importing
compound list from Excel ...................73
Injection
about the injection ..............................20
adjustment of injection needle ...........29
changing well plate.............................27
DNA/RNA storage and concentration 22
filling injection needle .........................27
injection depth ..................................109
injection pressure .............................109
injection run........................................34
injection shot ......................................31
injection time ......................................31
injection volume .................................31
needle holder ...................................119
pausing the injection run ....................34
saving well plate.................................35
selecting oocytes................................26
setting pressure and time...................31
starting the injection run .....................34
stopping the injection run ...................34
testing.................................................20
Installing
an external liquid handler from Gilson12
Minipuls peristaltic pump....................12
the computer ......................................10
the network.........................................15
the Roboocyte ....................................10
the Roboocyte software .....................15
the valve stand ...................................10
Integral...................................................86
Loading
electrode.............................................46
injection needle ..................................27
script file ...........................................115
well plate file (RoboDataTool) ............69
well plate file (Roboocyte) ................102
Long Term Plot
settings of ...........................................97
Long Term Plot ......................................52
M
Manual
amplifier control ..................... 82, 88, 89
oocyte impalement .............................84
operating the liquid handler................91
operation ............................................79
perfusion.............................................90
Measure tool ..........................................81
Measuring head
adjusting .............................................48
connecting ..........................................46
design/building ...................................37
filling with KCl .....................................46
ordering information .........................131
replacing.............................................46
storing/reusing........................... 57, 119
Membrane Potential Check ...................84
Message Log ................................ 65, 117
Microscope
estimating injection volume ................31
magnification ....................................123
technical specifications.....................123
Minipuls pump
Connecting .........................................12
IP adress ...............................................15
Model Test Cell
technical specifications.....................124
K
monitoring ..............................................52
Key
keyboard controls.............................111
shortcut keys ......................................96
Movement
z-axis ................................................109
L
Leak current
checking .............................................88
leak subtraction ..................................40
Leak subtraction
leak subtraction protocols ............40, 54
using leak subtraction ........................40
Liquid
aspiration............................................73
Gilson liquid handler...........................91
liquid handling ....................................73
Liquid handler (Gilson)
enabling............................................108
installing .............................................12
140
Moving
carrier ...............................................111
database.............................................17
z-axis ................................................111
N
Needle
adjustment..........................................29
loading ................................................27
of Gilson liquid handler.......................91
ordering information .........................131
setting pressure and injection time.....31
Network
connecting the Roboocyte..................10
sharing database................................17
TSP/IP settings...................................15
Index
manual operation................................90
set up..................................................13
New file ..........................................23, 101
Nunc plates
sources of supply .............................131
O
Ocular scale
estimating injection volume................31
technical specifications ....................123
Offline
starting in offline mode .....................108
Offset
DC offset correction ...........................82
Oocyte
impaling ..............................................84
plating...............................................128
quality ...............................................127
removal from ovarian tissue.............127
selecting ...........................................106
Oocytes
defolliculation ...................................127
injecting ..............................................20
oocyte icons .....................................104
preparation .......................................125
recording ............................................37
resetting the state of an oocyte..........35
selecting oocytes for injection ............26
selecting oocytes for recording ..........45
washing ............................................128
Open file ........................................44, 102
oscilloscope .....................................52, 54
P
P coefficient ...........................................86
P/4 ...................................................40, 54
P/n Leak Subtraction .......................40, 54
Park Position .........................................57
Pause
run ....................................................116
Perfusion
about the perfusion ......................71, 73
connecting a Gilson liquid handler ...108
Gilson liquid handler...........................91
installing the suction pump.................13
internal valve perfusion ......................71
leak current ........................................88
maintaining the tubings ....................119
manual perfusion................................90
setup...................................................13
technical specifications ....................123
Peristaltic pump
connecting..........................................12
ordering information .........................131
using...................................................91
Plate
information........................................103
oocyte icons .....................................104
Plate Info ..........................................103
Plate menu ................................ 93, 101
plate type..........................................108
Select Oocytes .................................106
setting up a new well plate .................23
sources of supply .............................131
well plate view ........................... 44, 104
PlatesData.mdb .....................................17
Plating oocytes ....................................128
Plot
data...............................................54, 63
leak current.........................................54
overlay ................................................63
Power supply .......................................123
Preparation
for injection .........................................22
for recording .......................................43
oocytes .............................................125
Pressure
air compressor..................................131
check ..................................................95
external pressure............................2, 10
injection pressure ...............................31
troubleshooting...................................95
Print
plot in Manual Mode ...........................81
Probe
adjusting .............................................48
connecting the TEVC probe ...............46
design/building ...................................37
filling the with KCl ...............................46
replacing.............................................46
storing/reusing........................... 57, 119
Program
technical specifications.....................123
Proportional ...........................................86
Pulse (HEKA) format .............................69
Pump
installing .............................................13
Minipuls peristaltic pump ....................12
operating aspiration pump..................73
peristaltic ............................................91
start and stop......................................90
R
Raw Data
Exporting ............................................69
Exporting in ASCII format...................70
PI Coefficients .......................................86
Receptor ID............................................59
Pinch valve system
about ..................................................71
maintaing the tubings .......................119
Recording
about recording ..................................44
about TEVC recording........................37
adjustment of TEVC probe.................48
141
Roboocyte User Manual
changing the well plate.......................46
compound application ........................73
data analysis ......................................60
leak subtraction ..................................40
pausing the recording run ..................50
preparations .......................................43
recording sequence..........................115
Recordings Display ......................59, 64
replacing TEVC probe........................46
sampling rate....................................109
saving data.................................57, 102
selecting oocytes for recording ..........45
setting parameters ...........................109
starting the recording run ...................50
stopping the recording run .................50
Rename/Move Existing Database .........17
Replacing the TEVC probe....................46
Report
generating ..........................................64
Reservoirs
filling ...................................................72
Reset
axes to default in Manual Mode .........81
Response-dependent ............................54
Result
database ............................................60
displaying ...........................................59
exporting in ASCII format .............65, 69
exporting in Pulse (HEKA) format ......69
exporting to Excel.........................68, 69
extremum ...........................................60
mean ..................................................60
reporting .............................................64
saving .........................................57, 102
sorting.................................................63
S
Safety advice ...........................................2
Sampling rate
displaying ...........................................59
setting ...............................................109
Save
ASCII in Manual Mode .......................81
data file ...................................... 54, 102
database.................................... 60, 102
graph ..................................................63
results .................................................60
Scale ocular
estimating injection volume ................31
technical specifications.....................123
Scale ocular ...........................................31
Script
loading ..............................................115
log.....................................................117
parsing..............................................115
Scrolling
display ................................................97
Manual Mode axes .............................81
Select Oocytes
oocyte icons .....................................104
selecting oocytes for injection ............26
selecting oocytes for recording ..........45
Rinsing
Gilson z-arm.......................................91
tubings................................................72
Setting
general system settings............. 19, 108
Gilson rack types................................73
holding pressure........................ 31, 109
injection depth ........................... 31, 109
injection pressure ...................... 31, 109
injection time ............................. 31, 109
offset correction position ..................109
oocyte impalement .................... 31, 109
sampling rate....................................109
setting up a new well plate .................23
settings .............................................109
settings for advanced users .... 108, 111
Rinsing station .......................................91
Setup ...................................... 8, 9, 13, 15
Rise time
optimizing ...........................................86
Shortcut Keys ........................................96
Ringer's solution ..................................125
RNA/DNA
adjusting volume ................................31
concentration......................................22
filling injection needle .........................27
setting pressure and time...................31
storage ...............................................22
RoboDataTool
opening a data file..............................69
use of..................................................67
Run menu
about ..................................................93
Load Script .......................................115
Park Position ....................................119
Parse Script......................................115
Start, Pause, and Stop run...............116
142
Software
installing the software.........................15
software requirements........................15
software updates ................................15
starting the software ...........................18
technical specifications.....................123
Sorting
compounds.........................................73
results .................................................63
rows in result table .............................63
Sound
enabling and disabling sound...........108
sound messages ..............................115
Start
manual operation................................81
run ....................................................116
Index
starting a recording ............................50
starting an injection ............................34
starting the Roboocyte .......................18
starting the software...........................18
status lamp ............................................95
Stereo microscope
magnification ....................................123
technical specifications ....................123
Stop
run ....................................................116
stop the injection run ..........................34
stop the recording run ........................50
storing/reusing the TEVC probe ..........119
Suction Pump
installing .............................................13
operating ............................................73
Roboocyte robot .................................95
Tubing
sources of supply .................................8
Tubing........................................... 13, 131
U
Unlock ..................................................102
V
Valves
liquid handling ....................................73
open and close ...................................90
technical specifications.....................123
View
display settings...................................97
View menu .............................................93
Supply
sources of supply .............................131
Voltage
clamp ..................................................89
T
W
Table
cleaning............................................119
Washing
oocytes .............................................128
TCP/IP Settings .....................................15
Waterpump
start and stop......................................91
Tecan washer
sources of supply .............................131
using.................................................128
Template
for virtual well plate ..........................106
Test Mode..............................................79
Test Move..............................................91
Testing
electrode impedance..........................49
Gilson liquid handler...........................91
injection ..............................................20
TEVC
adjusting the TEVC probe ..................48
connecting the TEVC probe ...............46
design/building ...................................37
filling the TEVC probe with KCl..........46
leak subtraction ..................................40
recording ......................................37, 54
replacing the TEVC probe..................46
storing/reusing the TEVC probe.57, 119
TEVC probe .................................37, 48
Toolbar
main window ......................................94
Test Mode ..........................................81
Tracking
data tracking.......................................97
Transfer port ..........................................91
Triggering ..............................................54
Troubleshooting
air pressure ........................................95
amplifier/recording..............................95
Well
selecting oocytes for injection ............26
selecting oocytes for recording ..........45
Well plate
information........................................103
oocyte icons .....................................104
Plate Info ..........................................103
Plate menu .......................................101
plate type..........................................108
Select Oocytes .................................106
setting up a new well plate .................23
sources of supply .............................131
view ........................................... 44, 104
X
x/y table
cleaning ............................................119
Xenopus Oocytes
preparation .......................................125
Z
Z-arm
Gilson liquid handler...........................91
z-axis
adjustment........................................111
attaching injection needle...................27
attaching measuring head..................46
movement.........................................109
Zooming
display ................................................97
Manual Mode display .........................81
143
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