IGEM:IMPERIAL/2007/Projects/Experimental Design/Improve Methodology/Protocol2

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Testing Evaporation when using Oil

We have decided to test how we can prevent evaporation using oragnic oils. Two types of oil will be tested, parafin oil and mineral oil, at varying volumes to see which is a suitable volume of oil to use. We will be testing 60ul of water with varying volumes of mineral oil and parafin oil. The samples will then be left overnight and measured again in the morning to determine the rate of evaporation. This rate will then be compared to the control which is just water with no oil.


  • Distilled Water x 1200ul
  • Parafin Oil x 270ul
  • Mineral Oil x 270ul


  • Pipettes P5,P20,P200
  • 96 Well Plate (black)
  • Fluorometer
  • Incubator 37°C


Day 1
Following the following schemetic first pipette 60ul of water into each well. Then pipette in the required volume and type of oil Note that oil can be tricky to pipette because of the capillary action of pipettes, be aware of this. Place the plate in the incubator at 37oC

Day 2
To measure the evaporation we use a gilson pipette. To do this adjust the volume to a suitable volume and remove the sample until all is removed. Note down the volume removed and minus this from the original total volume. When we carried this out we started at 20ul and then adjusted down to 5ul when 20ul was no longer appropriate. It is best to judge the measurement based on the total sample volume and adjust accordingly. Remember that in a well samples can get stuck to the rim of the well.

Well Water Added(ul) Paraffin Oil Total Volume (ul)
E5 60ul 10ul 70ul
F5 60ul 10ul 70ul
G5 60ul 10ul 70ul
E6 60ul 20ul 80ul
F6 60ul 20ul 80ul
G6 60ul 20ul 80ul
E7 60ul 90ul 150ul
F7 60ul 90ul 150ul
G7 60ul 90ul 150ul
B5 60ul 10ul 70ul
C5 60ul 10ul 70ul
D5 60ul 10ul 70ul
B6 60ul 20ul 80ul
C6 60ul 20ul 80ul
D6 60ul 20ul 80ul
B7 60ul 90ul 150ul
C7 60ul 90ul 150ul
D7 60ul 90ul 150ul