How to clean and maintain the instruments

Background

The information presented here regarding the cleaning and the maintenance of the instruments are available on the ChemoMetec Intranet. The following is an attempt to bring them all together for the application scientists. This is not an exhaustive list and can actively be improved upon. 

1 -Instrument Cabinet

[Action applies to all instruments]

Depending on the environment in which is operated, it is suggested that regular cleaning of the enclosure is carried out. When cleaning, it is recommended to use a soft moist cloth and gently wipe the surface. Any contamination, which does not come off immediately, should be rubbed gently with a cloth wetted with mild detergent. Never use organic solvents or aggressive detergents to clean the exterior of the instruments as this might damage the surface. Cleaning of the enclosure daily can be performed by using a mild detergent.

2 -Cassette fixture

[Action applies to NC-202, NC-200, NC-100, YC-100]

When cleaning the cassette fixture, great care must be taken against introducing any liquid or dust into the instrument (This is why it is important that the lid should always be placed on the device).  Any liquid entering the interior of the instruments can damage the optical parts and thus compromise the quality of the cell counts.

The surface of the cassette can be wiped off with a clean, dry and dust free cloth that reduces fibre contamination of the cassette fixture.

An object on the surface of an optical component can influence the collected image. A contaminant will normally be visible as a faint object in the image. If the contamination is on the cassette, it will not be visible when a new cassette is analysed. If the contamination is present on every image taken; it is most likely that other optical parts are contaminated (Figure 1). The presence of a contaminant (e.g. dust particles) will normally not influence the counting of cells. All instruments will distinguish between cells and contaminants, since a cell generally is significantly smaller than contaminants. 

3 -Spill of liquid

[Action applies to all instruments]

If liquid has been spilled on the instrument it can contaminate elements of the optical system. This contamination can show up in the image in several ways and cannot be removed using compressed air. Even though such phenomena are clearly visible on the image, it rarely affects the results of the experiment. Since it is possible to damage the optical system while attempting to clean the system, it is recommended that HQ should be consulted before the user attempts such cleaning.

4 -Sample tray

[Action applies to NC-3000, NC-250]

When cleaning the sample tray, great care must be taken against introducing any liquid or dust into the instrument. Any liquid that enters the interior of the device can damage the optical parts and thus compromise the quality of the analyses. The black surface of the sample tray is anodized aluminium and can therefore be wiped off with a clean, dry and dust free cloth that reduces fibre contamination of the sample tray.

The sample tray and the optical parts inside both instruments should be properly protected against dust and other contaminants. Therefore, great care must be taken to ensure that the sample tray is inserted when the instrument is not in use. If the black surface of the sample tray becomes contaminated it should immediately be cleaned with a clean, dry and dust free cloth.

5- Decontamination

Applies to all instruments

In case decontamination is required, please contact management. 

6 – Removal of dust particles

[Action applies to NC-3000 and NC-250]

The optical windows are placed in the sample tray. Please ensure that these are always kept clean.

Figure 2 shows how to clean the optical window. Place a clean Alpha Swab (Figure 3) at the inner part of the window, and then move it outwards and repeat to cover the complete optical window. Similarly, the optical window at the Cassette area (NC-3000) can be cleaned.

An object on the surface of an optical component can influence the collected image. A contaminant will normally be visible as a faint object in the image (Figure 2).

In case the contamination is on the Cassette or on an NC-slide it will not be visible when a new Cassette is analysed. If the contamination is on the optical window it will be present on every image taken at this view of the optical window. If the contamination is present on every image regardless of view, this should be further investigated at the HQ.

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