Miniaturized Mixing: V&P Scientific's Tumble Stirrer
ventured to LabAutomation '98 (January 19) in San Diego, California,
with the intent of finding a truly unique piece of laboratory
equipment. After hours of searching, we stumbled upon V&P's
Alligator Microplate Magnetic Tumble Stirrer. V&P Scientific has
developed the Alligator Tumble Stirrer as a simple and
efficient method for stirring microplates. As opposed to using a
spinning magnetic stirring bar, the Alligator Tumble Stirrer causes
stirrers to tumble end over end inside each well, similar to the way
alligators "tumble" their prey.
The Alligator, which has been on the market about two years, can handle
all microplate formats (24- to 1,536-well plates), deep-well plates, V-
and U-bottom microplates, PCR plates, microfuge tubes, test tubes, and
bottles. The Alligator measures a mere 17 inches wide by 17 inches deep
by 7 inches high and can fit inside most incubators. The VP 709A can
stir four layers of nine microplates (36 microplates total).
The Alligator has numerous applications, but according to V&P
Scientific President Patrick Cleveland, "The most prominent application
of the Alligator has been stirring genomic libraries as they are
growing." Other applications include stimulating the growth of aerobic
organisms, suspending microorganisms, breaking up filamentous
organisms, dissolving solids, mixing two or more compounds, mixing oil
and water emulsions, scraping tissue culture monolayers and releasing
DNA, and mixing and immobilizing reactions that use magnetic beads.
Does the thought of filling all 384 wells of a microplate with stirrers
make you cringe? V&P Scientific has also developed a simple and
efficient method of placing sterile stir bars, dowels, and discs into
microplates with liquid already in them. Users simply pour bulk
stirring bars, dowels, or discs into the appropriate stirrer dispenser,
gently shake the dispenser until each of the holes is filled, pour off
excess stirrers, place the dispenser over the microplate, and dispense
(drop) stirrers into the wells. These dispensers can be disinfected
with bleach or alcohol, and others can be autoclaved.
Especially useful for high-capacity plates or for stirring solutions
with magnetic beads, V&P offers a magnet powder with 0.7 mm
diameter particles that come together in the presence of a strong
magnetic field to form multiple magnetic stalactites in the bottom of
the microplate wells. The tumbling action of the stalactites on the
Magnetic Tumble Stirrer provides efficient yet gentle stirring of the
liquid. The tumble powder is added to wells as a liquid slurry.
Click Here for more information on Tumble Stirrers.