Stir Stix

     
 


STIR STIX Dispensers
PTFE Conformance

     
 


Stir Stix are our newest devices for stirring in deep well microplates, vials and test tubes.  STIR STIX are special stainless steel tubes that are very magnetic and can be moved by any of our Alligator Tumble Stirrers or our new Vortex Stirrers.  The STIR STIX mix by moving back and forth inside the well or vial instead of tumbling a disc or dowel end over end. 

Data on how high Stir Stix  microplates can be stacked and still mix can be found at this link.

 
 
 


The Stir Stix are always longer than the diameter of the vessel they are in, so they can't tumble but move back and forth providing a very vigorous stirring action at the top and bottom of the liquid.  This vigorous action has several advantages in stirring tall vials, deep well blocks and test tubes.

One of our customers approached us with a problem they were having in dissolving compounds that floated on the top of the liquid.  Our solution was to develop a Stir Stix that was very magnetic and taller than meniscus level, so the surface of the liquid and the compound are vigorously mixed.  These are now available in Stainless Steel and encased in PTFE.   We have made a video to demonstrate this unique stirring action, which can be viewed below.  In the video a Stir Stix mixes up a "Tequila Sunrise" * (sucrose solutions of different color and density).

When stirring very viscous materials we also offer Alnico and Rare Earth Magnet Stir Bars.
 

Download Video of Stir StiX in action
(mpeg movie- 3.5MB)

 

Press the play button to view the video in a flash format, flash must be installed, or click the download link to download a mpeg version.

     
 


To the right  is a VP 710A Alligator Tumble Stirrer with a custom top designed to accommodate a customers vial rack system.  The enlarged photo on the right illustrates a before and after mixing sequence. 


Download Video of Stir StiX in action
(mpeg movie- 13.0MB)

 

Download Video of Stir StiX in action
(mpeg movie- 3.84MB)

Press the play button to view the video in a flash format, flash must be installed, or click the download link to download a mpeg version.     
 

 

 
 
 
 
Part # Type Length Diameter Package Size
VP 733 Stainless Steel 31.8 mm 1.58 mm 100/pkg
VP 734 Stainless Steel 25.4 mm 1.58 mm 100/pkg
VP 735 Stainless Steel 19 mm 1.58 mm 100/pkg
VP 736 Stainless Steel 12.7 mm  0.787 mm 100/pkg
VP 737 Stainless Steel 7.6 mm 0.787 mm 1000/pkg
         
VP 733-2 PTFE encapsulated 34.6 mm 2.50 mm 100/pkg
VP 734-2 PTFE encapsulated 28.2 mm 2.50 mm 100/pkg
VP 735-2 PTFE encapsulated 21.8 mm 2.50 mm 100/pkg
         
VP 736-1 Parylene Coated 12.80 mm 0.89 mm 100/pkg
VP 737-1 Parylene Coated 7.8 mm 0.89 mm 1000/pkg

To determine whether you should use Stainless Steel, Parylene or PTFE encapsulated Stir StiX check the Chemical Resistance Charts.

A very complete discussion of parylene's barrier characteristics, properties and methods of deposition is found at this hyperlink.  Another page is dedicated to parylene's resistance to organic solvents, acids and bases.

 

 

 
  Autoclaveable Drop Stir Stix Dispensers

     
 


VP 733-2A

     
 


Autoclaveable Drop Dispensers are used to place all three lengths of sterile PTFE encapsulated Stir Stixs into wells after the liquid is added. This 3 in one dispenser can be sterilized by autoclaving or by heating in a hot air oven. The VP 733-2A dispenser contains  96 ordered holes in a top loading plenum that is 22 mm deep.  By adding additional plenums that are 6.9 mm and 13.5 mm thick, all three lengths of PTFE encapsulated Stir Stixs can be accommodated. The holes in the plenums are just large enough to accommodate one Stir Stix.

 
 
 
When Stir Stixs are added to the dispenser they lay down flat and don't enter the plenum holes. 
 
 
 


The trick is to place the dispenser over a large and very powerful magnetic field (VP 771) which will cause the Stir StiXs to stand on end and then fall down into the holes.   Below the top plenum is a bottom plenum also with 96 holes but in the resting condition the two plenums are misaligned and will not allow the Stir StiX to pass through. 

 
 
 


By using 200 to 300 Stir StiXs and quickly moving the dispenser back and forth over the magnetic field from the VP 771 the perpendicular Stir StiXs move over the plenum surface and fall into the holes until all holes are filled. 

 
 
 
When the dispenser is taken off the magnet, the remaining unloaded Stir StiXs fall down flat.  By depressing the Dispense Knob the two plenum hole patterns are aligned vertically and the loaded Stir StiXs drop into the microplate wells beneath them.  The excess Stir StiXs that are laying flat do not interfere with the loading.
 
 
 
 

 
  Technical Documents:
    Stir StiX Dispenser Manual
 



VP 733-2A-1

     
 
VP 733-2A-1 Collar Adaptor for loading Stir StiXs into Tubes in 96 format. 

Several different companies make tube racks or blocks with a variety of shapes and heights that do not align to the bottom of the VP 733-2A Stir StiX dispenser.  We have solved that problem by building a universal Collar Adaptor that aligns the rack to the bottom of the Stir Stix Dispenser.

 
 
 
The Collar Adaptor also can be used with our 96 well disc and bar dispensers.
 
 


VP 736A

     
 
Autoclaveable drop dispenser that loads VP 736 and VP 736-1 Stir StiXs into 96 PCR microplates.  This dispenser uses the same technique we describe in detail for the VP 733-2A dispenser described above and illustrated in the photos to the right.

 

 Download instructional video of how to use the  
VP 733-2A (mpeg movie- 13.5MB)

Press the play button to view the video in a flash format, flash must be installed, or click the download link to download a mpeg version.
 

 

 
 

 
  Videos:

    VP 736A Instructional Video
 


VP 736-384A

     
 


Autoclaveable drop dispenser that loads VP 736 and VP 736-1 Stir StiXs into 384 microplates.  This dispenser uses the same technique we describe in detail for the VP 733-2A dispenser described above and illustrated in the photos to the right.
 

 


VP 737A

     
 


Autoclaveable drop dispenser that loads VP 736 and VP 737 Stir StiXs into 96 microplates.  By adding the additional plenum, both sized Stir StiX can be accommodated. This dispenser uses the same technique we describe in detail for the VP 733-2A dispenser described above and illustrated in the photos to the right.

 
 
     
 


  48 Drop Dispenser for Test Tubes

     
 


VP 733-3A

     
 


Autoclaveable Drop Dispensers are used to place all three lengths of sterile PTFE encapsulated Stir StiXs into test tubes (12 mm diameter by 75 mm long) after the liquid is added. This 3 in one dispenser can be sterilized by autoclaving or by heating in a hot air oven. The VP 733-3A dispenser contains  48 ordered holes (spaced on 14 mm centers) in a top loading plenum that is 22 mm deep.  By adding additional plenums that are 6.9 mm and 13.5 mm thick, all three lengths of PTFE encapsulated Stir StiXs can be accommodated. The holes in the plenums are just large enough to accommodate one Stir StiX.
 

 
 
 


By using 100 to 200 Stir StiXs and quickly moving the dispenser back and forth over the magnetic field from the VP 771 the perpendicular Stir StiXs move over the plenum surface and fall into the holes until all holes are filled. 

 
 
 


When the dispenser is taken off the magnet the remaining unloaded Stir StiXs fall down flat.  By depressing the Dispense Knob the two plenum hole patterns are aligned vertically and the loaded Stir StiXs drop into the microplate wells beneath them.  The excess Stir StiXs that are laying flat do not interfere with the loading.

 
 


  Autoclaveable Flip Stir Stix Dispenser

     
 


VP 733-2B

     
 


Autoclaveable Flip Dispensers are used to place all three lengths of sterile PTFE encapsulated Stir StiXs into wells before the liquid is added. This 3 in one dispenser can be sterilized by autoclaving or by heating in a hot air oven. This dispenser contains  96 ordered holes in a top loading plenum that is 22 mm deep.  By adding additional plenums that are 6.9 mm and 13.5 mm thick, all three lengths of PTFE encapsulated Stir StiXs can be accommodated. The holes in the plenums are just large enough to accommodate one Stir StiX

 
 
 


The trick is to place the dispenser over a large and very powerful magnetic field (VP 771) which will cause the Stir StiXs to stand on end and then fall down into the holes.   By using 200 to 300 Stir StiXs and quickly moving the dispenser back and forth over the magnetic field,  the perpendicular Stir StiXs move over the plenum surface and fall into the holes until all holes are filled. 

 
 
 


Once loaded the excess Stir StiXs are decanted off and an empty Deep  Well Plate is turned upside down on the loaded plenum and the VP 733-2B is "flipped" over dropping the Stir StiXs into the wells.  Simple as 1,2,3 and more economical then our drop dispenser VP 733-2A.  The limitation with the Flip Dispenser is that the plates have to be loaded with the Stir StiXs prior to adding liquid.

 
 
   
Autoclaveable Stir StiX Drop Dispenser with additional plenums for loading 96 VP 733-2, VP 734-2 and VP 735-2 Stir StiXs (three dispensers in one).  Also includes Heavy Duty loading magnet (VP 771).  The dispenser is constructed of anodized Aluminum and Polypropylene plenums. VP 733-2A
Autoclaveable Alignment Collar for 96 tube racks VP 733-2A-1
Autoclaveable Stir StiX Flip Dispenser with additional plenums for loading VP 733-2, VP 734-2 and VP 735-2 Stir StiXs (three dispensers in one).  Also includes Heavy Duty loading magnet (VP 771).  The dispenser is constructed of anodized Aluminum and Polypropylene plenums. VP 733-2B
Autoclaveable Stir StiX Drop Dispenser with additional plenums for loading 48 VP 733-2, VP 734-2 and VP 735-2 Stir StiXs (three dispensers in one).  Also includes Heavy Duty loading magnet (VP 771) and the test tube adaptor..  The dispenser is constructed of anodized Aluminum and Polypropylene plenums. VP 733-3A
 
 
We are still working to develop a Stir StiX dispenser for the non-PTFE encapsulated Stainless Steel Stir StiXs.
 
         

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