Microdialysis hints from Superprof

Kajohn Boonrod and Mark Laible, Labtimes 03/2010

Simply melt a hole in the lid with the blunt end of a heatet pasteur pipette, cover the hole with a dialysis membrane and let the cup swim upside down in dialysis buffer.

Superdoc of the correspondent Lab Times comic is a pretty clever guy, who always knows some trick to help the desperate PhD student. But sometimes even Superdoc needs some help from Superprof.

In the last “Superdoc” comic of Lab Times (issue 2/2010, page 74), the poor PhD student had to dialyse dozens of probes and desperately cried out for Superdoc to come and help her. Superdoc advised her to “simply cut a large hole in the top of the cups and to put a piece of dialysis membrane between top and cup”, before letting them swim upside down in dialysis buffer. However, Superdoc may have overestimated the ability of PhD students to cut holes in stiff plastic lids with a scalpel. Roland Wenger, Professor of Physiology at the University of Zürich, alias Superprof, knows a much easier way to get a hole into the lids.

“Dear Lab Times Editor,
Superdoc must be a martial arts expert if he is able to cut a hole into the lid of a 1.5 ml tube using a scalpel (Lab Times issue 2, 2010). Let us give him some hints from Superprof:

  • Heat the blunt end of a Pasteur pipette over a gas flame – it will go through the plastic of the 1.5 ml tube like butter and creates a nice round hole in the lid.
  • Secure the closed lid with the trapped dialysis membrane, with a clip or use Safe-Lock tubes.
  • To avoid trapping air bubbles, first submerge the tube then turn it upside down, while still submerged, and stick it from below into the hole of a swimming rack.
  • For complete recovery, quick-spin the tube before opening”.

Roland Wenger

Microdialysis expert with a good sense of humour: Roland Wenger alias Superprof.

Last Changed: 10.11.2012