Hello all! I was wondering if anyone else is using the Tecan MIO (monitored shaking incubators) with their Fluent. Curious what your experiences have been with the 4 and 6 plate options of the MIO and integration with the FluentControl software.
I’ve used the MIO2 for EVOware, does it behave in the same way in Fluent. I wouldn’t expect it to be any different but it’s a great incubator. We use it for shaking, individual temperature slots for plate to test effect of temperature, and we use it as a dark room for our light sensitive reagents.
I would expect it to perform better on the Fluent due to the better RGA/RoMa. The RoMas on the Evos just don’t quite have the precision required to get lidded plates out of the MIO 6 shelf units with 100% reliability. You can get them to 99.99% reliability, but every now and then the Z-height won’t be perfect. The RGA on the Fluents is miles better for precision so I suspect you can get closer to that 100% reliability and more easily too.
hardware wise - pretty std,
RGA has better precision in accessing slots
do NOT use the default settings for RGA - definitely slow speeds down
plates & lids are v tight - slot height is narrow on 6 position
i’ve done a lot of work with FC scheduler - with multiple MIO’s and the control/commands seem to be OK
4 slot is better in my opinion as slot height does yield more room to work with
temperature is good, consistent & quick to ramp up
entire hardware, firmware for MIO goes back to v early days - Genesis RMP in early 2,000’s - Tecan didn’t see a need to change it
Although this topic is quite old, I wanted to add our experience with the Tecan MIOs. In principle the MIOs work fine, but the temperature uniformity is not great. In our hands there was a clear temperature gradient inside the MIOs (warm at the back, cold close to the door) when we ran them at 37°C for bacterial growth. The gradient was large enough to have an impact on the growth rate of the cells, which we wanted to measure. We then measured temperature uniformity with an “Inheco measurement plate” and found a gradient of 2-3°C. Therefore the MIO was not suitable in our case.
I guess the formation of a temperature gradient depends heavily on the desired temperature and the temperature of the surroundings. We also tried adding an additional metal spacer below our plates for better temperature uniformity, but it was not working good enough.
We mainly use the MIOs for ELISA workflows. They are very handy for incubation of multiple plates which is great when scheduling multiple plates with the same incubation conditions. We don’t tend to set the temperature much above room temp so haven’t come across some of the gradient issues others have seen but that is really helpful to know going forwards. (Thanks @DonIgor!)
I suppose a potential downside is the fact that there is no active cooling (that I’m aware of) so there is no control of temperate below 25C. It’s not that we need to go below 18C but it would be nice to maintain something like 21C.
In terms of training on the Tecan Fluent we haven’t seen any collisions of plates and RGA fingers so far, but we don’t often use lids.
Generally, I find that Tecan do the robotic hardware and software well but when it comes to devices they can be a bit hit and miss. 3rd party devices are often the best way to go if you can get them integrated!