Laboratory

Flowcell:- Design, Applications and Cleaning for Semi-Auto Biochemistry Analyzer

Flowcell is a type of flowthrough cell. This is because the sample goes to the cell. There, the optical density is measured. After that, the sample comes out of the cell.

Flowcell is used in various medical equipment such as a spectrophotometer, biochemistry analyzer, etc.

Flowcell in HPLC

Design of Flowcell for Semi-Auto Biochemistry Analyzer

It is generally made up of UV quartz. The common volume of the cell is 30 μl. It has got an internal diameter of 2 mm. Similarly, the path length is 1 cm. If you look closely, you will see two windows exactly opposite to one another. From these two windows, light enters and then transmits out of the cell.

The size of the flowcell may differ from one to another. The other sizes include 50μl, 70μl, 100μl, etc. For this,  flowcells will have a wider internal diameter. Also, the path length can be 2 cm or 3 cm. But, it should never be less than 1 cm.

Flowcell Cleaning

If the flowcell is not cleaned from time to time, there can be the following problems

  • Bubble formation
  • Contamination
  • Insufficient filling of the cell

When do you need to clean the flowthrough cell?

1. Before switching from one test to another

If you do not clean the flowcell while switching from one test to another, there can be chances of cross-contamination. For that, take at least 1.5 ml of distilled water and rinse the biochemistry analyzer for at least 5 seconds.

2. While shutting down the biochemistry analyzer

Rinse the flowcell, at the end of the day. For that, rinse the cell for about 2 mins with the distilled water.

3. During the operation of the machine

Press the rinse/wash button on the keyboard of the machine. This will cause the peristaltic pump to operate in continuous mode. After not less than 10 seconds, press the rinse/wash button again. This will cause the pump to stop.

Now, prepare 5 ml of ethanol. Sip it for 5 seconds and then press stop. Wait for 1o seconds. Then again click Wash. Finally, rinse it with the distilled water for 10 seconds.

Repeat the above process 2-3 times. You need to do this process twice a day. You can use other cleaning solutions as well. Some of them are 0.1 N KOH (NaOH) solution, enzyme solution capable of decomposing the protein deposits, etc. Commercially, you can also find a flowcell cleaner.

Alternatively, you can make a new program for cleaning your flowcell.

Parameters Values Remarks
Method endpoint
Wavelength You can choose any wavelength that you like.
Temperature 370C Choosing 370C will make the rinsing process faster
Unit You can choose any unit that you like
Blank Reagent Feed distilled water for reagent blank
Delay time 10 seconds This will be the time for cleaning the flowcell.
Sipping Volume 1000 μl Do not alter this value
Upper Limit You can set any value that you like
Lower Limit You can set any value that you like
Sample/ calibrator volume You can set any value that you like
Reagent volume

 

You can set any value that you like
No. of standards It does not matter
No. of calibrations It does not matter
Standard/calibrator it does not matter
Linearity

 

Your choice

In the end, rinse the flowcell with distilled water for 10 seconds.

4. Hard Cleaning

Sometimes, due to the negligence of the user, there might be a blockage in the flowcell. This might be due to the feeding of whole blood or improper cleaning. So, if the above method fails to clean it, then take 3-5 ml of distilled water in a syringe. Then, remove the tubing connected to the peristaltic pump. After that, force the distilled water into the flowcell with the help of the syringe. But, do not apply excessive force. Else, it may damage.

 

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