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 is centrifugation, 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 centrifuge is required. 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 the protocol is executed (see the collection “Executing your OneLab protocols”).
Once you have your labware on the virtual bench, you can add a centrifugation 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 “Centrifugation” option.
The “Centrifugation” 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 centrifuge during the execution of the experiment if using Andrew+ or moved by you during the experiment. Especially when tubes are used, which are typically held in a rack, the complete rack with ALL tubes will be put in the centrifuge. In the “Centrifugation” menu, you will need to drag and drop the required tubes to the top right field. Just above this field you can see a small colorful line in front of the text “Labware to centrifuge”. All labware that was dragged and dropped to this field, will be highlighted with a small colorful line close to 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 "relative centrifuge force (RCF)" and the "duration".
Depending on the availability of connected devices in your lab, you will have the choice to execute the protocol either manually, with Pipette+ or Andrew+. As mentioned above, the centrifuge can be either a Device+ (a device connected and operated via OneLab) or standalone.
With a standalone centrifuge, you will reach a pause in the protocol and have to set and run the centrifuge yourself manually, moving and replacing the labware as needed.
With a connected centrifuge (Centrifuge+) you will reach a pause in the protocol and manually start the centrifugation in OneLab and confirm that the labware is loaded and ready to run, but the centrifuge step will be controlled via OneLab (timing, acceleration).
The centrifugation consists of two sub-steps: a start and an end. This allows you to, during the centrifugation of one labware, implement additional actions with your other labware. These can be pipetting actions, but also another centrifugation action. It is even possible to nest several centrifugation or other actions. 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 and manual execution. By converting the start and end steps of the centrifugation to actual user actions, confirmation is required by the operator to further proceed the protocol.
The nesting of action during the centrifugation action is shown on the right-hand-side of the figure above. It is even possible to nest several centrifugation actions, which would require the same number of centrifuges being available in your lab. OneLab gives priority to connected devices.
When you select the centrifugation step in the list of protocol steps, the centrifugation symbol is highlighting which labware is involved on the virtual bench. The same symbol is present in the list of steps.