FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

What’s so special about eNUVIO’s products?

We want your research project to be a success! So we design all our products with your needs at the forefront of our minds! This means, we develop tools that are as easy to use and as affordable as possible, saving you time and money! Each of our products has been purpose-built to increase experimental data output, reduce waste and minimize the requirement for technical expertise and lengthy training processes. In other words - We don’t want you to waste your time figuring out how to assemble and use our products. This is why we provide ready-to-go devices so you can focus on the science rather than technical intricacies! (Did you know that we used to work in academia and life science research? We understand how frustrating it can be!).

But we don’t only want you to perform experiments faster! We understand that they need to be meaningful too! Our lab-on-a-chip technologies are specifically designed to be more precise and physiologically relevant, leading to meaningful interpretation of the results while pushing scientific boundaries!

And if you have any suggestions on how we can serve you better, please reach out to us by sending us an email to info@enuvio.com, filling out the Ask A Question form here or using the Live Chat option! We would love to hear from you!

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Why haven’t I heard about eNUVIO sooner?

No idea! But we are happy that you know about us now! If you like what we do, spread the love and tell your colleagues about us so they too can push the scientific boundaries with the help of our creative solutions for life science research! 

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Can I get a free sample?

Yes, absolutely! We would love for you to try our devices! Take advantage of our new customer program and get a free sample pack by contacting us here. Just let us know which device you want to try out.

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What are B-grade products and why would I want to buy them? 

B-grade products are products that have imperfections and would otherwise be thrown out in the garbage. We are passionate about minimizing waste, so rather than throwing out products that are not absolutely perfect, we prefer giving them a second chance! You can get a really great deal for a product that will definitely work, but might not be perfect. For example, B-Grade OMEGA products might have some clogged microchannels or air bubbles trapped in their PDMS structure. We do guarantee that you will get at least one functional experiment out of the B-grade product! Buying B-grade products is ideal if you are just setting up a new experiment or trying out a new device that you might not have ever used before. We know that things don’t always go to plan the first time around! It’s a great deal and you help reduce waste.

Please note that B-grade products are not always available (obviously we try really hard to avoid making devices that are anything but perfect). If we currently don’t have a B-grade product listed that you are interested in, send us a request to double-check our stocks by filling out the Ask A Question form here, sending us an email to info@enuvio.com, or chat with us in the Live Chat.

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Why are EB-PLATEs more expensive than conventional round-bottom ULA microplates?

Our EB-PLATEs are made from materials that are meant to last! We use PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), a silicon-based organic polymer which is biologically inert and non-degradable to produce these virtually indestructible plates. You can safely culture EBs for several weeks in these plates without any worry about them degrading or leaching material into your culture. Naturally, this comes at a higher cost compared to conventional single-use plastic microplates.

EB-PLATEs are definitely a great investment as they pay for themselves after only 5-8 uses, and can be reused many times more! Simply regenerate the EB-PLATE following a quick rejuvenation protocol (How do I regenerate my EB generation devices?) and reuse, reuse, reuse! This is not only great for your budget, but also for the environment! Forget about throwing out single-use plastic plates for your EB generation. Also, you don’t need to worry about not using the whole 96-wells of the plate each time - just use the number of wells that you need for your experiment!

And rest assured that you don’t have to compromise on quality when switching from conventional single-use microplates to this greener choice! You will be able to produce beautiful EBs!

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Where can I get more help?

You can't find the answer to your question here on the FAQ page or in the user guide of your product? Then please reach out to us via the Ask A Question form here, sending us an email to info@enuvio.com, or chatting with us in the Live Chat! We are happy to assist you in any way we can!

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Why haven’t I received a reply from you yet?

Sorry! We typically answer all incoming messages within one business day! It can happen that we are busy in the clean room, or that messages don’t make it through to us. If it’s been more than 2 business days and we haven’t replied, please contact us again. Thanks for your patience!

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USE AND STORE DEVICES

What should I pay attention to before opening my device for the first time?

EB generation devices and devices of the OMEGA series are shipped sterile. Please read the user guide before opening any packaging. We will walk you through all the steps necessary to set you up. Inspect the devices carefully before opening the plastic sleeve and transferring the device. If, for whatever reason, the device appears to be damaged, we will happily send you a replacement. Follow the instructions here to claim your replacement.

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Where can I learn more about products and their applications?

If you already know the name of the product you are looking for, you can always navigate to the product page using the menu bar located at the top of the page. On each product page you will find a quick introduction, some example applications, product formats and specifications, as well as the user guides and a link to the shop. Do you want to get a quick introduction to all our products? Check out our Product Overview. From there you can also easily access the product page of each device.

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Where can I find user guides?

You can find all user guides here. Alternatively, you can access them through the Products dropdown menu at the top of the page as well as on the respective product page.

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Can I use the devices as they come or do I need to treat them first?

It depends! Please refer to the user guide for a step by step protocol! And as always: if you still have questions, please reach out to us via the Ask A Question form here, by email at info@enuvio.com, or by chatting with us in the Live Chat! We are happy to assist you!

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At what temperature do I store my devices?

All our ready-to-go products should be stored at room temperature. Custom products can usually be stored at room temperature too.

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Can I reuse my devices?

It depends! Our EB generation devices are virtually indestructible and you can reuse them many times over. Simply rejuvenate them (How do I regenerate my EB generation device?) and keep making beautiful EBs!

Devices of the OMEGA series are also made from similar inert materials, however, we do not recommend reusing the devices since the microchannels themselves are really difficult to clean given their small size. That being said, glass and PDMS are resistant to many solvents, so if you want to give it a try anyways (especially if you are not yet performing experiments that you plan on publishing), you can try a series of washing steps starting with water, isopropanol, acetone, isopropanol and water again. 1M NaOH might also be an option, but is a very harsh cleaning method and might damage the PDMS if applied for too long.

Sterilizing cleaned devices can be ideally achieved using oxygen plasma, but also by steam sterilization (i.e. heat), and by UV or ozone treatment.

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How do I regenerate my EB generation devices?

Please follow the user guide for the EB-DISKs or EB-PLATEs. We walk you through the entire process step by step. 

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Are the shipping vials (squeeze pop bottles) recyclable?

Yes, they are! But before recycling them, remember the second of the three Rs: Reuse! They are autoclavable, so you can safely repurpose them in the lab. If not in the lab, then maybe at home?! Paper clips, pills, candy, screws...

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OMEGA SERIES

How are OMEGA devices different from conventional neuronal co-culture devices?

Simply put - you can get more and better data faster! Here are the three main reasons why you will love working with our OMEGA devices:

1) All OMEGA devices come ready to go! No need to sweat! No need to use plasma treatment! No need to bond anything! Just coat, seed and you’re done!

2) More experiments per device! Our OMEGA devices are designed to increase your data output without breaking the bank. Thanks to our unique design and manufacturing methods, we can squeeze in more experimental setups per area than conventional compartmentalized devices. We are continuously adding more formats to the webshop, so check back often and keep your eyes peeled!

3) The unique open-chamber design of all OMEGA devices gives you direct access to your cultures. Now you can explore new types of experimental paradigms not possible with standard closed-chamber devices. For example, the chambers are large enough to house tissues that are several millimeters in diameter, easily accommodating tissue explants or self-assembled 3D cultures (e.g. spheroids, organoids). Additionally, conventional patch-clamp electrodes can openly access the cultures, so that you can examine the electrophysiological properties of the culture. OMEGA lets your experimental creativity flourish!

Check out the original OMEGA design here.

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What’s the difference between the OMEGA and the OMEGAACE?

The original OMEGA features two chambers which are physically separated by a series of microfluidic channels. The small size of the microchannels serve to fluidically isolate each of the adjoined chambers, but are large enough to allow neurites/axons to project into and interact with cultures located in the adjacent chamber. The ability to isolate chambers makes the OMEGA ideal for neuronal co-culture and compartmentalization studies. The OMEGAACE has all the advantages of the two-chambered OMEGA with the added versatility of a third accessible chamber. In triple co-culture applications, each chamber is used to culture a distinct cell type. In the context of compartmentalization experiments, the extra chamber is especially useful for fluidically separating neurons into three components: somatic, proximal axonal and distal axonal (growth cone). Going further, each of the separated chambers allow molecules of interest to be applied to a specific component of the neuron.

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What's the difference between the OMEGAACE and OMEGAAG?

The OMEGAACE features three chambers with two microfluidic interfaces. In triple co-culture applications, each chamber can be used to culture a distinct cell type (e.g., motor neurons, oligodendrocytes and skeletal muscle). In the context of compartmentalization experiments, the chambers serve to fluidically separate neurons into three components: somatic, proximal axonal and distal axonal (growth cone). For example, the separated chambers can then be used to apply molecules of interest to a specific component of the neuron.

The OMEGAAG features four chambers with four microfluidic interfaces arranged around a central viewing chamber. Each of the four chambers connect the to the central viewing area via microchannels. The flow of fluid across the microchannels into or out of the central viewing area is controlled by simply adjusting the relative fluid volumes (How does fluidic isolation work and when do I use it?) in each of the chambers. Consequently, the viewing area becomes a mixing chamber where molecules of interest that have been added to the source chambers will produce a long-lasting and uniform chemical gradient across the viewing area. The OMEGAAG device has been specifically designed to help researchers study axon guidance and chemotactic factors in vitro.

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How does fluidic isolation work and when do I use it?

Fluidic isolation limits the flow and diffusion of solution/molecules between two neighboring culture chambers that are interconnected with microfluidic channels. In this way, the small size of the microchannels can serve to fluidically isolate two connected chambers, but still permit neurites or axons to project across into the adjacent chamber.

Fluidic isolation is achieved by imposing a directional flow of fluid across high resistance microchannels, which is most easily controlled by adjusting the relative level of fluid in each of the chambers. Differences in fluid levels in the two adjacent chambers provide the force required to drive fluid to flow from a chamber with a relatively higher fluid level towards a chamber with a relatively lower fluid level. The unidirectional flow across the microchannels created by this asymmetrical volume loading can serve to fluidically isolate the chamber with the relatively higher fluid level from any adjacent chambers containing relatively lower fluid levels. The unidirectional flow will persist until the fluid levels in each of the chambers equalizes, at which point the directionality of flow will subside. Having reached an equilibrium, a slow bidirectional mixing of fluids will then occur between chambers.

In our testing, the unidirectional flow across the microchannels in the OMEGA devices can be maintained for 40+ hours without adjusting chamber volumes. Since the flow across the microchannels will be towards the chamber with the relatively lower fluid level, the chamber with higher relative fluid level will not be exposed to molecules that have been specifically added to the chamber with the lower fluid level. However, the chamber with lower fluid level will be exposed to molecules that have been specifically added to the chamber with the higher fluid level.

For more information please check the OMEGA user guide for your product.

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How much time do I have to exchange the solutions of my OMEGA device?

Not more than a few minutes! It is crucial to prevent the microchannels from drying as this will cause them to lose their hydrophilic property. If the microchannels do dry, the device can be rejuvenated. This process involves thoroughly rinsing the device with deionized water, allowing it to dry completely, then oxidizing and sterilizing the device using a plasma or UV/ozone cleaner.

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How often do I have to refill the water in the evaporation minimizer?

Verification frequency of fluid levels inside the OMEGA device and the evaporation minimizer will mostly depend on the incubator environmental conditions and on the number of times the culture is removed from the incubator. For example, improperly humidified incubator environments (<80 % humidity levels) will lead to increased evaporation from the wells. We recommend verifying the fluid level in each well of the device as well as within the evaporation minimizers every 2 days, and refilling when required.

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SUPPORT

Can you help me troubleshoot?

Sure! To get in touch, you can fill out the Ask A Question form here, simply send us an email to info@enuvio.com or chat with us in the Live Chat! Whatever you like best! We will get back to you as soon as possible!

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I need in-person support. Can you come and help me?

We try to keep our travels (and environmental footprint) to a minimum! However, if we are in the region, we would love to set up a meeting to help you out. Of course, due to the present global COVID-19 situation, in-person meetings are not recommended, and in some cases prohibited. However, we’re happy to do the next best thing and set up a video call. Please send your request by filling out the Ask A Question form here, sending us an email to info@enuvio.com or contacting us in the Live Chat! We will get in touch as soon as possible! See you soon!

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How do I order spare parts?

Ask for any spare parts by filling out the Ask A Question form here, sending us an email to info@enuvio.com, or by chatting with us in the Live Chat! Whatever you like best! We will get back to you as soon as possible!

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ORDERS AND PAYMENT

How can I change my order?

Have you noticed an error or mistake in your order and are looking to change something? Please cancel your order via the “My Orders” page in the “My Account” section as soon as possible. Then go ahead and place the correct order!

If you have trouble canceling the order through your account, please contact us directly by filling out the Ask A Question form here or send us an email to info@enuvio.com. Make sure to use “Cancel order #[order number]” as the subject line including your order number. We will cancel the order for you and send you a cancellation confirmation. You can place a new order as soon as you wish.

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Are all prices listed in Canadian Dollar (CAD)?

Yes, all prices on our website are displayed in CAD, but it’s simple to make a purchase no matter where you live. Purchases made through our webshop will be charged in CAD, but are automatically converted by your credit card company. The conversion details will be listed on your bank statement. If you wish to get an idea of how our prices convert into your currency, we recommend using a free currency converter such as Google.

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What payment methods can I use?

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to pay for your device, so we accept a variety of payment methods. You can pay by: Credit Card or Purchase Order!

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SHIPPING AND RETURNS

How long does it take before my order ships?

We aim to ship all our orders as quickly as possible without compromising on their quality. Typically, we ship within 5 business days.

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How much will shipping cost?

Shipping costs depend on where you live and how fast you want your devices delivered—in other words, it’s almost entirely up to you! After entering your shipping address in your shopping cart, all shipping options will be listed!

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Can I track my order?

Yes! As soon as your order is ready to be shipped, we'll send you a confirmation (subject line "Your eNUVIO order has shipped"). It will contain a tracking number that will allow you to track your shipment and estimated delivery date through the carrier’s website.

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What do I do if my device arrives broken?

We are so sorry this happened! Glass-bonded devices (such as the OMEGA devices) are fragile and although we package them with great care, it might happen that they arrive broken. Cracks in the glass can easily be seen through the packaging without opening it. Please make sure to inspect the devices carefully before opening the plastic packaging. If you notice any cracks, please send a photo of the damaged device in its unopened plastic sleeve including your order number to info@enuvio.com. We will be happy to send you a replacement in no time! Please note that we won’t be able to replace broken devices if the plastic sleeve has been already opened.

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Where do you ship to?

Almost everywhere! We have an exclusive agreement with our distributor in China. Customers located in mainland China, please contact Worldwide technology Co., Ltd Shanghai.

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Where do you ship from?

All our products are shipped from our Montreal, Canada headquarters, where we also design, fabricate and manufacture all of our devices.

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Do I have to pay customs?

If you are located outside of Canada you might have to pay import fees and taxes. Please review your country’s customs and duty policies, as we are not liable for any fees or taxes your package may be subject to upon crossing the border. Because of the range of duty fees across different countries, we are unable to accurately predict these fees.

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