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Northern Nanopore Instruments flow cells provide for the easiest experimental setup imaginable for a solid-state nanopore. Simply mount your chip inside the flow cell using conveniently-provided gaskets and snap the cell together. No moving parts, no screws, no manual alignment steps. Matthew Waugh demonstrates below. Watch carefully, blink and you'll miss it.
Once your cell is assembled, insert your evaporation-preventing caps and Ag/AgCl electrodes. If you haven't considered sample evaporation in your experimental workflows, you should: we found that without our caps, we were losing up to 20% of our sample in the course of a few-hours long experiment, which translates to big errors in concentration measurements. These caps prevent evaporation essentially indefinitely, and conveniently align your electrodes for you.
Next step is to wet the membrane and inject sample buffer. Because these cells have laminar flow-through on both sides, switching between solutions is fast and simple, and there's no need to worry about cross-contamination between consecutive experiments. The internal volume of the flow cell is about 25 microlitres on the smaller half-cell and 40 microlitres on the larger one, so you can use the minimum possible quantity of your precious samples without needing laborious buffer mixing steps to change between them.
And voilà, in just a few short minutes you're ready to make a pore. Drop the flow cell in your Spark-E2, press go, and go get a coffee. Your experiment will be ready for you when you get back.
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Last Updated: 2021-05-11