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 heat / cool, 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, a heating / cooling device is required (active Peltier system, electric heater, passive cooling element). 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 a 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 “Heat / cool” option.
The “Heat/ cool” 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 heater / cooler during the execution of the experiment or moved by you during the experiment. Just above this field you can see a small colourful line in front of the text “Labware to heat”. 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 “Heat / cool” menu, you will need to drag and drop the required tubes (one by one) to the top right field. All labware that was dragged and dropped to this field, will be highlighted with a small colourful 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 temperature (custom, 4°C, 37°C or room temperature) and 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 heating / cooling device can be either a Device+ (a device connected and operated via OneLab) or standalone.
- With a standalone heating / cooling device, you will reach a pause in the protocol and have to set and run the device yourself manually, moving and replacing the labware as needed.
- With a Device+ you will reach a pause in the protocol. Then, manually start the heater / cooler in OneLab and confirm that the labware is loaded and ready to run. The the heat / cool step will be controlled by OneLab (timing, temperature).
- With Andrew+ and Device+, the robot performs all actions fully automatically based on the way your device is set up.
The heat /cool action consists of two sub-steps: a start and an end. This allows you to, during the heating / cooling of one labware, implement additional actions with 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 heating / cooling to actual user actions, confirmation is required by the operator to further proceed the protocol.
The nesting of two simultaneous heat / cool actions is shown on the right-hand-side of the figure above. This does however imply that two heating / cooling devices are required to be present in the lab. OneLab will automatically assign actions to connected devices first, so if for example a heating/cooling Device+ is available and another stand-alone heater / cooler, the top level heat / cool action will be assigned to the Device+, while the other nested heat / cool action is assigned to the stand-alone heater / cooler.
When you select the heat / cool step in the list of protocol steps, the heat / cool symbol is highlighting which labware is involved on the virtual bench. The same symbol is present in the list of steps.