Reservoir with lowest dead volume for a single channel pipette

Hi there :slight_smile:

I have the following workflow to display, starting with a 96-well plate and transfer the liquid via an 8-MC-pipette into a reservoir and afterwards with a SC-pipette into tubes. And the goal is to get the whole liquid (~8mL) out of the reservoir, or at least as much as possible.
Sadly all reservoirs I currently tested have a very high dead volume, as they are made for MC-pipetts and there’s too much liquid lost at the ends of the reservoir, as the SC-pipette only picks up the liquid in the middle of the reservoir.
Do any of you guys know if there’s a reservoir, especially made for SC-pipettes?

Something like this (I know the pattern isn’t perfect^^)? Best in a 4- or 8-chambers reservoir that can be placed on a worktable?
Or you have any other suggestions that may solve the problem?

And sure I could simply transfer the liquid out of the 96-well plate into the tubes by using the SC-pipette, but this would take too much time. And my goal is to establish a quick and clean workflow.

Looking forward to hear from you guys.


This isn’t answering your question directly but I would just save the trip to the labware and go directly into the tubes from the 96w plates. I don’t know of a wide reservoir that’s set up with a pyramid bottom to pool in the middle like what you’re suggesting.

If I understand correctly, the 96 operations that you have using the single channel pipette are going to be in place no matter which way you do it. Any other intermediate transfer is going to be in addition to those so it’s hard to imagine it going faster.

Unless there are additional constraints that aren’t shared - I’d think the time difference would be in favor of the single stepped process. If you needed to pool the wells then distribute it to multiple tubes for example.

My first thought is that you could probably just put a couple of pieces of tape or a small piece of rubber on the holder under one end of the reservoir so it tilts it slightly. Then just pipette from the side opposite your modification for your second step. Just make sure that your dispense position isn’t so close to the bottom that a few mm of lift would cause a tip to crash.

Yeah I’m still scared from 2020 so introducing a third piece of labware that is almost impossible to find but also such an OBVIOUS candidate to be a strong casualty of even the smallest supply chain issues seems like a terrible idea.

With that said, I do feel like I’ve seen something like it but finding labware online is a mess.

Pooling works. Pooling to large volume v-bottoms (48 or 24 well) is the way to go if you want to introduce a third labware. Plate tilting works. In fact, I believe there’s a 3D printable plate tilter so you can tilt any reservoir to one end and convert into a better single channel candidate.

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Look what I found.

Will this suffice?



Oh thank you very much Luis. This one looks promising!
I’ll give it a try. :slight_smile:


Nice! Let us know what you think, I definitely see the value of a trough that’s as flexible as this one could be.

ClickBio sell something where u can use for head in starting and then it goes to middle for channel dispense and very low dead volume.

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Yeah but that trough doesn’t mean their design requirements since it still spreads liquid across an area instead of to a a central area

Did they work? Let me know so I can order some too :rofl:

They have special disposable containers specifically for this. I don’t know off the top of my head but Monday I’ll get you the part #

A bit of a late reply here, but Integra’s 10 mL reservoirs are very close to what you describe: Reagent Reservoirs | INTEGRA
You can buy them with a Sure-Flo anti-sealing array, which takes the dead volume below 100 µL based on my testing. The downside is they’re not SBS-format, so you’ll need to find a way to adapt it or attach it to the deck if you’re working with a liquid handling robot.

If centrifuging manually is acceptable, the Clickbio VBLOK200 can be used to rapidly pool from all wells of a plate:

Sample Pooling and Recovery

The VBLOK200 was originally designed to recover or pool liquids in a multi-well plate. Just invert the plate into the VBLOK and spin in a centrifuge to collect all residual liquid in a 24, 96, 384, or 1536-well plate. This reduces tip costs, saves pipetting time, and improves recovery compared to manual or automated pipetting from each well.

With a dead volume of <1 mL, the VBLOK is also an ideal reservoir for automation workflows where reagent waste reduction is paramount.

The Nalgene reservoirs are a bit deceptive. Although they look like they come to a point in the middle, they are actually flat bottomed and thus have a large dead volume.

I’ll echo luisvillaautomata feedback: if you really want additional intermediate labware, try the 48-well plates (like the V-bottom P-5ML-48-C | Axygen® 48-well Clear V-Bottom 5 mL Polypropylene Rectangular Well Deep Well Plate, 5 per Pack, Nonsterile | Corning).

Plate tilters also work.

FYI for this thread I was able to find a reservoir with the dimensions requested which were both 96 and 8 channel compatible with a v bottom to minimize reagent loss. Ergo allowing one to potentially transition from. 96 head to a single channel or 8 channel pipetting.

My team uses the Nunc reservoirs that V&P Scientific sells. They have a flat bottom, not a V-bottom.