The MWP units come with a Standard temperature control system which is able to increase and hold the temperature up to 10°C above current ambient room temperature.
Alternatively, the Peltier temperature control system, which has a temperature control range of 8°C below to 12°C above ambient room temperature, is offered as an optional add-on.
The time taken to change the chamber's temperature will vary according to what is in the chamber (e.g., a well plate), but this is typically completed within 30 minutes.
A thermistor is located on the left hand side of the MWP unit, just in front of the side panel in the experimental chamber. The current temperature recorded by the thermistor is reported on the unit's Zantiks Control Console and can be written on to a data file at any time within a script.
For help connecting either of the temperature control systems to the MWP unit, please refer to the 'Temperature control' section found in the MWP Introduction manual.
How to set the temperature
Set up the experimental chamber with the equipment required for your experiment (e.g., the diffuser stand or light stimulation plate, and a multi-well plate or petri dish).
Then run the script below. The Zantiks unit will adjust the temperature until it reaches the temperature set by the thermostat, as recorded on the Zantiks Control Console. The temperature will be maintained at this level within ±0.5°C.
Note: the thermostat setting will be retained and used even if the script is not running. No thermostat will be set when the unit is first turned on.
ACTION MAIN #SET(TCS_MODE,PELTIER) # note: you must remove the hash to include this line if using the peltier control system SET(THERMOSTAT,20) WAIT(1) COMPLETE
The script above tells the temperature control unit to set the thermostat at 20°C and adjusts the temperature in the experimental chamber accordingly (this may take up to 10-15 minutes depending on the difference between the temperature set and the current temperature within the chamber).
Once the chamber has reached the desired temperature, you are ready to add your animals.
Please note: If you are using software from before mid-2020, and have a peltier system, DO NOT remove the # from the script above. The older software will not recognise this line of code.
How to record temperature in results data
If you would like to record the temperature in your processed results data file, you can adapt the code in the script below.
DEFINE NUMBER_OF_BINS 30000000 DEFINE BIN_TIME_SECS 10 #SET(TCS_MODE, PELTIER) SET(THERMOSTAT,20) ACTION MAIN WAIT(1) LOGCREATE("TEXT:TIME|TEXT:INLET_TEMP") LOGRUN() INVOKE(MTEMP,NUMBER_OF_BINS) COMPLETE ACTION MTEMP WAIT(BIN_TIME_SECS) LOGCREATE("RUNTIME|TEMPERATURE1") LOGAPPEND("TEMPERATURE2|TEMPERATURE3|TEMPERATURE4") LOGRUN() COMPLETE
In the above demo script:
The SET(THERMOSTAT,#) command sets the temperature in the chamber at 20°C (this must be within the ambient room temperature and 10°C above).
The LOGCREATE command details the labels for the cell data in a line of cells (i.e., the text labels 'TIME' in cell 1 and 'INLET_TEMP' in cell 2 for columns of data). The following LOGRUN() line tells the unit to output the previous LOGCREATE line.
LOGCREATE("RUNTIME|TEMPERATURE1") LOGAPPEND("TEMPERATURE2|TEMPERATURE3|TEMPERATURE4") LOGRUN()
The LOGCREATE (and LOGRUN) command above tells the unit to output in a line of cells the actual runtime at that point in the experiment in cell 1, and the temperature recorded by the thermistor in cell 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Try running this demo script in your MWP unit and take a look at the data output.
To download the set_record_temp_MWP demo script as a .zs file (file type Zantiks software reads), choose the Save File As option in the right-click dialogue box. Clicking on the script name hyperlink will open a read-only version of the script.
Troubleshooting temperature control issues
There are a number of reasons why a temperature control system may not be providing/maintaining the intended internal temperature. Listed below are the most common reasons for the temperature control not working as expected. If you have checked all of these points and are still encountering problems, please contact us.
- Not using the correct code for your temperature control system. When using the PELTIER temperature control system an additional line of code is required. It will also interfere with the standard temperature control system if the line for the PELTIER system is included in the code. Check the coding under script explanation above, to ensure you have the correct settings.
- Temperature has not been SET in the script. This may seem obvious. However, the system will retain the last temperature control setting it received (Unless the system has been shut down and rebooted, then the thermostat will default to off). If a previous user has been operating at a different temperature, or the system has been shut down or rebooted, it is important to reset the thermostat to the temperature required for your experiments and wait until it has reached its target.
- The fan and/or heater/cooler is not working. You can check the fan by looking/listening/feeling if it is running. You can check the heater/cooler by adjusting the temperature in a script and looking at the thermistor data readout. If either are not working, check the wires are firmly attached to the green connector cables and are securely placed into the side socket on the top box. If you have checked the connectors and it is still not working, contact us.
- The temperature of the room/lab is too close to the set temperature. when using the standard temperature control, the system is a heater only and id designed to raise the temperature in the system above ambient room temperature. The system itself does generate a small amount of heat so, for example, with a room temperature of 27°C, it is possible that the temperature inside the system can be 28°C even with the thermostat set to off (i.e. 0). If trying to maintain a temperature of 28°C within the system with accuracy, the lab should be cooler (e.g. 22°C). It is also worth noting that the lab/room thermostat could have a +/- feedback loop of a few degrees, whereas the thermistor in the Zantiks systems are accurate to fractions of a degree. Setting the lab/room thermostat to a cooler temperature would ensure that the temperature in the lab never exceeds the temperature that you are trying to maintain within the Zantiks system.