Vial overflow and it's effects on the smart sleeve

I tried running an experiment a few days ago and had an issue with my vials overflowing. I wasn’t there to actually see it happening but I assume it happened because efflux outlet failed somehow. All of the pumps are still working so I’m thinking my efflux connection isn’t great and I’m pulling up air instead of liquid.

I don’t think too much liquid overflowed, but it’s kind of hard to tell. All of my pumps still work (which are underneath the sleeves) and I didn’t see any liquid pooling.

Are there any suggestions for what I need to do to clean up the smart sleeve? I tried shoving a paper towel down there but it didn’t seem very effective. Do I need to disassemble it to clean it?

Can I simply verify all of the components work (LEDs turn on, OD and temperature sensors read reasonable values)? Or is there something else I should do to make sure I didn’t break the smart sleeves?

The main impact of overflow is the effect on the temperature sensor (thermistor) because the electric connection is closest to where the content spills over to board. Typically, the thermistor will read a temperature extremely high (e.g. 70C), typically indicating that there was a spillage.

Rebuilding the parts are really easy. Follow the following link to the tutorial to do that. Though you might need some extra PCBs in order to do so.

If an overflow happens I roll up folded paper towels to make a wad about the size/shape of a vial and stuff down to the bottom, then hope for the best (super scientific, I know). As far as next steps, you’ve got three options:

  1. If temperature control seems okay (check with a thermometer), and OD values still make sense (compare to other vials/plate reader), then I’ve simply kept using vials that had minor overflows.
  2. The next level up would be to re-calibrate temperature and OD, looking at the curves to see if anything had changed and/or if the new functionality is unacceptable.
  3. The highest effort option would be to take apart the sleeve and replace any electronic components that have dried media residue on them. Then re-calibrate temperature and OD.
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