Using Pioreactor with slow flow rate requirements

I’m looking to use the Pioreactor to perform some automated directed evolution experiments. One of biggest requirements is that I’ll need an inducer to be added in 50 uL volumes every 10min or so. I don’t the pumps sold with the Pioreactor can achieve such a low rate. Has anyone tried something like this before/ have any ideas on how I can do this?

Hi @Raghuveer,

I agree that our pumps can’t reliably dose this low. You can likely purchase DC peristaltic pumps that have lower flow than what we sell, and connect them to the Pioreactor. You may need to do the wiring yourself though (some docs on that here).

You may also need to change the vial cap’s tubes as well. The inner diameter of the silicone tubes we provide (1/16") are “large” relative to 50uL, and 50uL might not easily want to drop into the liquid when you dose. Any easy solution is to use lower ID tubing, which we do sell.

Thanks for the reply! @CamDavidsonPilon
I’m looking into lower flow rate DC pumps now. With regards to tubing, I’m wondering if using a syringe needle in the vial cap can help with dosing even if we use the 1/16" tubes.

Syringe needles could work well! We’ve never used them but I’m ordering some now to test. The tubes are 1/8th OD 1/16th ID if that helps you choose a needle gauge.

Let us know how it goes!
I’m still waiting for a budget approval from my lab to get my hands on the Pioreactor, looking forward to it!

I tried 11 and 12 gauge needles, as I thought these would fit well a few different ways. Meh - I can’t advise on 11 or 12 gauge needles to work with our vial caps. One could design a Vial cap A plug to fit, but it doesn’t seem worth it.

In theory, a 16 or 17 gauge needle could fit into the 1/16th ID silicone tubing. I think placing it into the silicone tubing would be best, as the silicone will compress and create a tight seal between the needle and vial cap.

Anyways, I’ve purchased some higher gauges to try those.

Thanks for the update!
We also have plenty of these gel loading tips lying around (Diameter 0.5cm at the widest) but I’m not sure of how they’ll fit with the caps and the tubing.

Following up: a 1.5" to 2" 16 gauge needle works really well: it fits inside the silicone tube, and this fits inside our vial cap holes.