During your protocol design, you will make use of several different types of labware, some of them having multiple locations, like microplates with many wells. When you make use of such labware, it may be quite intensive to:
Manually select the sources and destination (see the article “Selecting sources and/or destinations on a labware with multiple locations manually”).
Input precise volumes that need to be transferred during a protocol step in the multi-volume pipetting action (see the article “Configuration: Multi-volume mode”).
Set the correct volumes of reagents at the beginning of your experiment (see the article “Fill a labware with a reagent”).
Therefore, instead of creating your sources, destinations and volumes individually, you have the possibility to import the required information from an external source. This is especially useful, since typically you have this data already available in an Excel file or your enterprise LIMS for documentation purposes.
Selecting sources and destinations:
You will enter the “Select sources” and “Select destinations” menus, when you implement the following actions during your protocol design:
Pipetting action (see article “Single pipetting action”).
Concentration normalization action (see article “Concentration normalization”).
Serial dilution action (see article “Serial dilution”).
Here you have the option to either enter the required information manually or import it. Since the menus are identical in case a pipetting action is implemented from-and-to the same labware, you have to take into consideration in which menu you actually are (indicated at the top left).
For the sources:
For the destinations:
Instead of choosing the locations manually, you can import them by pasting the information. You may do that by clicking the “Paste selection” button on the right side of the menu. This means that you already need to have selected and copied the information that needs to be pasted to the clipboard. To have the data available on the clipboard, first follow the next step:
Go to your external source (for example an Excel file), select the cells you would like to use in your protocol and press “Ctrl + C”:
If the locations are copied from an Excel file, the data needs to have the proper format (letter and number) and it needs to be organized in a “rectangular area” to allow for the pasting action afterwards (a full row, a full column or a full 2D grid, empty cells are not allowed).
If data is copied from a text file, the locations need to be separated by a comma ( , ), a tab or an enter (End of Line). A last possibility is to indicate a rectangular area by using a colon ( : ), or combinations of the above:
Multi-volume pipetting action:
If you want to transfer reagents from a single source to multiple destinations, where each of the destinations can receive a different volume, or when you want to transfer reagents from multiple sources to multiple destinations and again different volumes are involved, you need to implement the multi-volume pipetting action (see the article “Configuration: Multi-volume mode”). Here you have the option to paste sources and/or destinations, following the procedure explained above:
This will overwrite the existing selection. You have to take into consideration that the number of sources and destinations has to be the same.
Also see the related articles “Define volumes by importing information from an external source”, “Fill a labware with a reagent” and “Importing reagents at start (stock solutions) from an external source”.