Question: How should I take photographs to document clogs and wetting failures?
Answer: We recommend (1) taking photographs of the recovered GEMs in the pipette tips and/or strip tubes and (2) taking photographs of the chip. These images are important for documenting clogs and wetting failures. Please refer to the best practices below for taking informative photographs.
Step 1: Take a photograph of the recovered GEMs in the pipette tips (preferred) and/or PCR strip tubes
- Images in pipette tips are preferred over PCR strip tubes as it makes it easier to identify minor differences in recovered volumes.
- Ensure that images have a uniform, dark background, minimal reflections, are in focus, and are upright.
Step 2: Take a photograph of the chip at 45 degrees.
(for manual assays only)
In addition to photographs of the GEMs in the pipette tips (step 1), it is also recommended to take a photograph of the chip.
- After transferring the GEMs to a PCR strip tube, remove the chip from the chip holder and place it flat on a uniform, dark surface. Take a photograph at a 45 degree angle.
Example images: standard throughput chip (left), high throughput chip (right)
(Note that the GEMs have not yet been removed from the chips in these example images. However, it is fine to take the photograph after the GEMs have been removed, as long as the GEMs are photographed in the pipette tips and/or PCR strip tubes as discussed in step 1 above.)
Step 3: Optional additional images of the chip
- In addition to taking a photo at a 45 degree angle, it can also be helpful to take photographs of the side view if microfluidic failures occur in channels 1 or 8.
Best practices for images – what to avoid
Please avoid the situations shown in the example images below.
Suboptimal example image 1 - non-uniform background
- Please ensure that the background is dark and uniform
Suboptimal example image 2 - out of focus
- Please ensure that the image is crisp and in focus
Suboptimal example image 3 - incorrect angle.
- Please ensure that the pipette tips and PCR strip tubes are imaged upright rather than at an angle.
Suboptimal example image 4 - chip still in chip holder and at incorrect angle
- Please ensure that the chip is removed from the chip holder, placed on a dark flat surface, and photographed at a 45 degree angle.
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