Besides single pipetting actions and the more complex concentration normalization/ serial dilution actions, OneLab allows you to implement other types of actions as well. One of these actions is apply magnetic field, recognizable by the following icons, indicating the start and end of this action in the list of protocol steps and the labware that is involved respectively.
To perform this action, an active device with coils is required, or a static layout with permanent magnets will suffice in some situations as well. This can be either a standalone device or a Device+ (a connected Device that is controlled via OneLab). These two different situations lead to slightly different ways of executing the protocol, depending also on how (manually, semi-automatically or automatically) the protocol is executed (see the collection “Executing your OneLab protocols”).
Once you have your labware in the virtual bench, you can add an apply magnetic field step to the list. Click on the “Actions” menu button in the “Protocol Menu Bar” on the left of your screen. The “Actions” menu will pop-up. Then, click on the “Apply magnetic field” option.
The “Apply magnetic field” menu will appear:
You will have to drag and drop the desired labware to the top right field, shown in the figure above. This labware will need to be present in the device applying the magnetic field during the execution of the experiment or moved by you during the experiment. Just above this field you can see a small colorful line in front of the text “Labware to apply magnetic field to”. Especially when tubes are used, which are typically held in a rack, the complete rack with ALL tubes will be put in the corresponding device. In the “Apply magnetic field” menu, you will need to drag and drop ALL required tubes to the top right field. All labware that was dragged and dropped to this field, will be highlighted with a small colorful line close from the name on the virtual bench, as indicated in the following figure:
This is where the difference in execution plays an important role. You can set the "duration".
Depending on the availability of connected devices in your lab, you will have the choice to execute the protocol either manually, semi-automatic (with Pipette+) or fully automatic (with Andrew+). As mentioned above, the device applying the magnetic field can be either a Device+ (a device connected and operated via OneLab) or standalone.
- With a standalone magnetic field, you will reach a pause in the protocol and have to set and run the magnetic field yourself manually, moving and replacing the labware as needed.
- With a connected device generating the magnetic field you will reach a pause in the protocol and manually start the device in OneLab and confirm that the labware is loaded and ready to run, but the apply magnetic field step will be controlled via OneLab (timing).
- With Andrew+ and the appropriate connected device, the robot performs this action fully automatically based on the way your magnetic field generating device is set up.
The apply-magnetic-field action consists of two sub-steps: a start and an end. This allows you to, during the application of the magnetic field to one labware, implement additional actions with your other labware. These can be pipetting actions, user actions, notifications etc. See the article “Nesting protocol steps” for more details. The two sub-steps allow the software to customize the required actions according to the execution (not during the protocol design phase, but in the background during the execution phase, see the article “How to execute your protocol”): fully automatic, semi-automatic or manual execution. By converting the start and end steps of the apply-magnetic-field action to actual user actions, confirmation is required by the operator to further proceed the protocol.
When you select the apply-magnetic-field step in the list of protocol steps, the apply-magnetic-field symbol is highlighting which labware is involved on the virtual bench. The same symbol is present in the list of steps.
The nesting of an action during the apply magnetic field action is shown on the right-hand-side of the figure above. It is even possible to nest several apply magnetic field actions, which would require the same number of devices being available in your lab. OneLab gives priority to connected devices.
When you select the apply magnetic field step in the list of protocol steps, the apply magnetic field symbol is highlighting which labware is involved on the virtual bench. The same symbol is present in the list of steps.