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emPCR: Sealing tape vs cap strips



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  • emPCR: Sealing tape vs cap strips


    I recently moved to a new lab and we just got a FLX+ instrument. The training started today. Our trainer was quite shocked when I told him that we have always used tape seals to seal the emPCR plates. He said that since they changed the emulsion oil two years ago, tape seals can no longer be used as they break the emulsions. He insisted on using cap strips instead. In my previous lab, we have been doing 454 sequencing since 2005 and have always used tape seals, even after the oil was changed two years ago and have never experienced broken emulsions. Does anybody know anything about this? Maybe certain tape seals react with the new oils and break the emulsions while others don't which may be the reason why 454 in general does not recommend to use tape seals anymore?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated,


  • #2
    We have the GS Junior and also use the a sticky seal tape, we haven't had any emulsions break so far. Our emulsions never really come in contact with the seal. I'm not sure how different it is for FLX+ in procedure though.


    • #3
      Dear mps4208,

      thanks for your answer and you are right, emulsions shouldn't be getting in contact with the seals anyway. The emulsion oils may be different for the Junior, though. I was told that this has to do with the new emulsion oils that were introduced 2 years ago.

      Are there any FLX+ users out there who are using tape seals for their emulsions?


      • #4
        I used to use plate seals until a few years ago. Then I had a streak of broken emulsions and the seals ended up being the culprit. Once I switched to caps, the broken emulsions went away. I would see emulsions breaking once the seal was applied to the plate after dispensing. With caps this was not seen.
        Now I use strip tubes and caps as the caps do not form a good seal on the plates and I would still see some broken wells in most batches. The strip tubes also make it much easier to spot broken emulsions, but they rarely happen now.