WPI's PicoPump Setup

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Designed to simplify intracellular injection and a variety of other micro­in­jec­tion tasks, WPI’s PicoPumps (PV830 and PV820) use precisely regulated pres­sures for se­cur­ing cells and injecting them with fluid. Injected volumes range from picoliters to nanoliters. Separate ports supply positive and negative pressure—pos­i­tive pressure for high-pressure ejection, and suction for supporting the cell or for filling the pipette from the tip. In this quick series, you can see how to setup a PicoPump.

1. What's Included with a PV Pump

In this first video (#1) you can see all the components of the system as they unpack the system.



2. Connecting Tubing on the PV830 

In this video (#2) you see how to connect the hard tubing for both the pressure and the vacuum ports on the PV830. The PicoPumps use quick connectors. Push the tubing in to install it, and press the blue collar and pull on the tubing to remove it from the quick connector.


3. Setting Hold Pressure on a PicoPump

In this video (#3) you see how to set the hold pressure in PV830 PicoPump. The Hold pressure is used to counterbalance the capillary action of the fluid backfilling into the pipettes.


4. Setting Duration at a Specific Pressure to Achieve a Specific Volume

In this video (#4) you see how to calculate the volume dispensed at a specific pressure so that you can calibrate your injections in the nanoliter to picoliter range. Use the chart in Appendix B of the PicoPump manual to make your calculations.


5. Installing the PicoNozzle Kits

The PV-830 pump is supplied with two (2) PicoNozzle kits. One is used for holding the cell, and the other is used for making injections. In this video (#5) you see how to hook up the PicoNozzle kits on the front of the PV830 PicoPump.


6. Regulating Vacuum on the PV830

In this last video (#6) you see how to setup the vacuum and regulate the pressure using a PV830 PicoPump. The PV820 does not have control for a vacuum pump.


Additional Resources

Injection Volume Calculator Spreadsheet

Syringe Volume Calculation Spreadsheet - Use this .XLS spreadsheet to calculate the volume of your syringe when you are using an UMP3, DMP, MMP or PV820/PV830.

Droplet Volume Chart

Use the chart below to gauge the volume of a droplet and the table to determine the volume a micropipette can hold.

Droplet Volume

This graph compares the dimensions of a cube and a sphere with the same internal volume.

Volume of a Micropipette

Outside Diameter Inside Diameter Approximate Volume per Inch  
1.0 mm (1B100) 0.58 mm 6.7 μl / inch (264 ηl /mm)  
1.0 mm (TW100) 0.75 mm 11.2 μl / inch (442 ηl /mm)  
1.2 mm (504949) 0.53 mm 5.6 ul /inch (220 ηl /mm)  
1.2 mm (1B120)  0.68 mm 9.2 μl / inch (363 ηl /mm)  
1.2 mm (TW120) 0.90 mm 16.2 μl / inch (636 ηl /mm)  
1.5 mm (1B150)  0.84 mm 14.1 μl / inch (554 ηl /mm)  
1.5 mm (TW150)  1.12 mm 25μl / inch (985 ηl /mm)  
2.0 mm (1B200) 1.12 mm 25μl / inch (985 ηl /mm)  

 More Info