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ibidi FAQs

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Is the µ-Slide III 3in1 controllable by the ibidi Pump System?

Yes.  With a special setup, the µ-Slide III 3in1 can be fully controlled with the ibidi Pump System. In this manner, adherent cells in the slide can be exposed to alternating gradients using laminar flow.


Which specific applications use the µ-Slide VI 0.1, and which ones are best suited for the µ-Slide III 0.1?

µ-Slide III 0.1: For rolling and adhesion assays with small amount of sample

µ-Slide VI 0.1: For reagent-saving immunofluorescence and perfusion assays


Which parts of the ibidi Pump System are autoclavable?

Only certain parts of the ibidi Pump System are autoclavable.

The Perfusion Sets, using different techniques, can be cleaned and sterilized for reuse. Syringes, filters, and µ-Slides are not autoclavable, and we recommend replacing these parts. The Fluidic Unit, with the exception of the Reservoir holder, can be cleaned with Ethanol.

Find more information on sterility and cleaning in the instructions of the ibidi Pump System.


How do I maintain sterility within the perfusion system?

Once you have attached the Perfusion Set to the µ-Slide, and have closed the reservoirs with sterile filters, the sterility of the ibidi Pump System is ensured. Afterwards, the system can be handled in a non-sterile environment.


Which flow types are possible with the ibidi Pump System?

The ibidi Pump System is designed for a continuous, unidirectional flow. However, with some slight modifications, and an additional Fluidic Unit, oscillating flow (the fast switching of the flow direction), and even pulsatile flow (the oscillation between zero flow and desired flow) are possible.


Is the ibidi Pump System a stand-alone system?

No. The ibidi Pump needs to be controlled by a computer and the PumpControl software.


Which parts of the ibidi Pump System have to be placed inside the incubator?

The ibidi Pump System is designed so that only the Fluidic Unit needs to be placed inside the incubator. The ibidi Pump, which creates heat during operation, remains outside and does not influence the incubation conditions.


How can I ensure that my cells are supplied with incubated air?

If negative air pressure is selected, the supplied air comes from the immediate environment of the Fluidic Unit of the ibidi Pump System. If positive air pressure is selected, the rear air inlet of the ibidi Pump must be connected with the incubator. For this option, we supply additional air pressure tubing. In both cases, the cells will be supplied with CO2-rich gas from inside the incubator.


Can I use any slides other than the ibidi µ-Slides in the ibidi Pump System?

Even though the ibidi Pump System is designed and optimized to work with ibidi µ-Slides, any flow channels can be used to study shear stress on cells. You will need to find a way to attach the flow channel to the Perfusion Set, and you need to keep in mind that the pump only supplies an air pressure between -100 mbar and +100 mbar. This means that the flow resistance cannot be too high. Furthermore, the PumpControl software will not be able to calculate the shear stress from the given air pressure, if you use any slides other than the ibidi µ-Slides.


Which parts of the ibidi Pump System are exchangeable?

The ibidi Pump System is almost maintenance free. There are only two parts which have to be checked from time to time.

1. Silica gel from the drying bottle
The Silica beads are coated with an orange indicator which turns white when saturated with moisture. The Silica gel can be used until all orange color is gone. For recovery, place the Silica beads in a glass Petri dish. Place the Petri dish into a drying oven at 120 °C for at least 8 hours. The beads will turn orange once the Silica has been recovered. After the beads cool off to room temperature they can be placed back in the drying bottle for use.

2. Filters for the Fluidic Unit
The filter of the Fluidic Unit prevents the inside from particles or dust. It needs to be exchanged when the pores of the filter are blocked. We recommend exchanging the filter every 6 months if the system is used consistently. For this, use a 0.2 mm Teflon air filter with a diameter of 30 mm and a male Luer Lock slip (e.g., Sartorius Minisart 16596 HY).


How can I upgrade my ibidi Pump System?

There are only two reasons why you would need an upgrade of your ibidi Pump System:

(a)  You have an ibidi Pump without the latest firmware (FW 1.10 or higher). In this case, contact your local distributor, or ibidi directly, for an upgrade.

(b)  You have a standard Fluidic Unit setup for the 10ml reservoirs, but you want to use the small Perfusion Set (black or yellow). Please contact ibidi to get this upgrade kit.


Why are turbulences not achievable after bifurcation?

Turbulent flow characteristics can’t truly be achieved in small channels when working with normal flow rates. The Reynolds number (Re), a dimensionless number, is used to characterize different flow regimes. Laminar flows occur at low Reynolds numbers whereas turbulent flows occur at high Reynolds numbers. The critical Reynolds number that indicates laminar flow in pipes and biological vessels is Re=2000. A Reynolds number of above roughly Re 4000 is most likely to represent a turbulent flow.

At a very high flow rate of 60 ml/min in a µ-Slide y-shaped, the Reynolds number is still very low at around Re 200.


How different is the shear stress in the branched regions of the
µ-Slide y-shaped as compared to the straight channel regions?

The shear stress in the straight channel regions of the µ-Slide y-shaped is exactly double the shear stress in the branched regions. This is only valid in the homogeneous regions of the channels because there is an inhomogeneous shear stress in the 30° and 45° branching regions and the two middle kink regions.

Find detailed information on shear stress/shear rates and flow rates in the µ-Slide y-shaped in Application Note 18.