Handling and pipetting GrowDex hints and tips
Key points to remember
- GrowDex hydrogels contain no animal derived components and therefore behave differently to animal derived matrices.
- The hydrogels are a shear thinning material, and do not crosslink or become a gel in response to room temperature or at 37°C. They remain as a semi-solid hydrogel between 0°C through 60°C .
- Watch this video to learn more about what shear thinning means
- Media can be used to dilute GrowDex and tune the viscosity as needed.
- GrowDex does not contain growth factors or other molecules which influence cell viability therefore these can be added to fine tune the culture system as desired.
- We recommend using smaller well plate formats, such as 96-well plate, for the tests. In smaller wells the well walls provide support to keep the hydrogel more stable.
- 384 and 1536-well plates are also compatible with GrowDex hydrogels.
Pipette tips and pipettors
- Low-retention pipette tips should be used with all GrowDex hydrogels, to avoid GrowDex sticking to the tip e.g. Sarstedt low retention tips.
- For an exact amount of undiluted GrowDex the product can also be weighed before dilution.
- Using a wider bore pipette tip or one that has been cut can help with the initial mixing step.
- When the mixing progresses, uncut tips should be used to increase mixing efficiency.
- A positive-displacement pipette is useful for pipetting viscous materials like undiluted GrowDex.
- Aspirating and dispensing GrowDex should be performed slowly to avoid air bubbles and to ensure an accurate volume.
- Electric dispensing pipettes and automated dispensing systems can be used for dispensing and mixing.
- A multi-channel pipette or automated dispensing system is recommended for repeat dispensing of GrowDex into the well-plates for high throughput applications.
- A step by step guide on preparing GrowDex can be seen in the Quick Start Guide.
- Use the Calculator Tool to easily determine the volumes of GrowDex, media and cells required for your assay.
- First dispense the cell culture media in the vial, then dispense GrowDex - this makes diluting GrowDex easier.
- Before opening the syringe screwcap, loosen the syringe plunger by pulling, to prevent outburst of the hydrogel.
- Swirl the pipette tip along the wall of the tube and then mix by pipetting up and down for a minimum of 90 seconds or continue until a homogenous solution is achieved by visual inspection.
- Increase the speed of pipetting towards the end of mixing and make sure the hydrogel flows smoothly through the pipette tip.
- Ensure to avoid adding air bubbles into the mixture.