Clearing a nozzle clog in AriaII

In the event of a nozzle clog, there is an increased biosafety risk due to the high aerosol production within the sorting chamber. Do not open sort collection chamber door or sort block door before following this procedure:

  1. If the system has not already shut down automatically, turn off the stream using the check mark button on top of the Drop Breakoff Window (in Diva software) or hit the red emergency button (on the instrument). This will shut off the stream, unload the sample and close the aspirator drawer.
  2. With the sort block chamber door, aspirator drawer, and collection chamber door all closed, turn the stream back on to clear the clog. If this does not help, turn off the stream again and Clean the Flow Cell (in Diva) with water. Turn stream on.
    • If still clogged after couple of attempts, turn stream off and remove the nozzle. Place the nozzle in a 5 mL tube with 2 mL of water and sonicate for 30 seconds. Dry the nozzle and put it back in place. Start stream. If still clogged, repeat with mild detergent and longer sonication time as needed.
    • NOTE 1: Sonication may not be effective in clearing a clog caused by solid debris (e.g. plastic piece from broken cell strainer). Use canned air to blow debris out and verify the clearance of the nozzle orifice under light microscope before continuing.
    • NOTE 2: Clogging may force liquid through the nozzle o-ring seal in which case no stable stream will return. If so, the nozzle will need to be removed and dried even if the clog itself was already cleared.
  3. Ensure that at least 5 minutes has passed after clearing the clog before opening the door!
  4. After clog is cleared, and with the stream turned off, open the sort block chamber door and dry deflection plates and other surfaces as needed.
  5. Make sure that all chamber doors are closed, restart the stream and verify that the drop delay is still valid.
  6. Continue your experiment.