MCA96 Liquid Classes

Hey everyone,

I was hoping that FC 3.5 would have liquid classes for the MCA96 but it does not.

Since the MCA96 uses the FCA tips, I assume that I can start with the airFCA version of existing liquid classes. With that said, the microscripts for liquid classes are monsters so it for sure won’t be 1:1.

Any guidance on developing these liquid classes?


What type of liquid are you optimizing for?

From what I understood is that MCA96 liquid classes are the same as AirFCA, but there is more power in the MCA motor so some speeds could go higher

Additionally, the cLLD works with the first tip that touches a liquid. Other tips will follow accordingly.

Yeah it makes sense that it’s more like the AirFCA. There’s a MCA96 reference for the 10uL tip and one for 1mL tip but those tips vary in shape and form from the 50 or 200 tips. And I’ve been working with Fluent Control since version 1.3 so when it comes to pipetting, I am painfully aware that the devil is in the details.

Not having a reference available is a problem.

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I did some early work with the MCA96 head - 1 uL pipetting with 50 uL tips,
Got some pretty amazing accuracy and precision numbers
let me dig out the parameters and see how to share them

from the v3.5 liquid classes I saw, the provided classes are v basic, and only for v few tip types - a lot of our clients/Tecan customers have asked for my support in designing/optimizing the parameters for the tips/volumes deficient in the ones provided by default

happy to talk more details if you need something more bespoke

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Technically any liquid since the provided template LC’s are extremely limited.

They COULD but they don’t seem to even in the templates.

I’d be interested in seeing this as well to possibly translate your success to my Biomek instrument. 1µL pipetting is no joke.

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Happy to talk more Biomek offline if you’d like…I have done some optimizing for low volumes.

Curious but has anyone done a comparison of the detection values of the MCA96 vs the FCA?

I was able to receive a development set of liquid classes from Tecan. I’ll review them and share any key info.

With that said, I made my own smart LC’s from scratch to better utilize a wider array of functions. Cheers.


Initial impressions with the MCA96 are pretty good. I guess I took for granted what a game changer using a 1mL tip would be for a 96 well plate.

Partiap tip box mounting has had no issues, no accidental crashes so far but I’m making sure that the SBS holders and the tip boxes actually clip on.

In addition, it seems like the 96 channels are always “ON” so this create problems if you mount a partial tip box as if it were a full tip box and then use cLL D in a predominantly empty plate. With that said, if you partially mount tips and it knows where those tips are mounted, the detection values are pretty robust in a plate and you don’t get any wonky issues. I am able to achieve proper cLLD behavior which is very nice if you like to build smart custom LC’s with detection data.