The Opentrons HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Module is a positive pressure clean air system designed to be used with the OT-2. The module displaces contaminants in the OT-2 by introducing a steady stream of filtered air into the robot while also creating an air boundary. This prevents any other contaminants from entering the OT-2. This module can be used for experiments such as cherry picking, assay setup, and serial dilution. This article will go through the basics of using the HEPA Module such as:

  1. How to install

  2. How to use

  3. Replacing the filter

Warning: The HEPA Module doesn't provide operator protection like a fume hood or biosafety cabinet, only sample protection. Therefore, the module shouldn't be used with pathogens. ☣️ It also shouldn't be used with any hazardous aerosolized materials. ☠️ If you are interested in using the OT-2 for these applications, you can place it in a biosafety cabinet.

Installing the HEPA Module:

When you open your HEPA package for the first time, you will have a layer of foam containing your HEPA accessories and the HEPA Module underneath.

Your accessories should include:

  • IEC cable (region specific)

  • 8x installation screws (M4x8mm Low Profile Screws)

  • 1x 2.5mm hex key (part of the Allen key set that was included with your robot)

  • 4x M4 Washers

Before installing the HEPA Module, make sure there is 20cm of clearance around the OT-2 to allow optimal function.

1) Remove the top window of the OT-2 and place it somewhere safe.

2) With another person, use the four handles on the HEPA Module to lift it out of the box and place it on a clear surface to prevent damage to the module.

Caution: It's heavy! 🏋️

3) There are two parts to the HEPA Module: The adaptor bracket and the main HEPA unit. Using your 2.5mm Allen key/hex screw, loosen the screws indicated on the image below that hold the bracket and main unit together.

4) Using a 2nd person, lift the main HEPA unit removing it from the adapter and place it on a clean and accessible workspace.

5) Next, place the adapter on the top of the OT-2. The key corners will first be slipped under the sheet metal on the left side of the robot and then the rest can be snapped into place. This can be done with one person.

6) Then, take the screws from the installation screw bag and lock the HEPA adapter into the top of the OT-2 using your 2.5mm hex driver/Allen key. The screws should go where the top window screws went.

Caution: Only use the screws that go with the HEPA Module! The screws used with the top window are too long to use with the adapter bracket.

At this point you can choose to clean or sterilize the top surface of the OT-2 as there will be limited access once the main HEPA unit is installed.

7) Using two people, slide the main HEPA unit onto the adapter bracket of the HEPA Module and push until you hit the rear end of the bracket, making sure that the screw holes line up.

Caution: Be careful! You can pinch your fingers between the adapter and HEPA unit.

9) Reinstall the screws used to connect the main HEPA unit and adapter together.

10) Plug the IEC cable into the socket located next to the power knob and the other side into a wall socket. Ensure that the HEPA is turned off before plugging in the cable and that the IEC plug and control knob are easily accessible and not blocked.

11) Write down the current date to ensure the filter is replaced at the right time.

12) Make sure to disinfect any contaminated workspaces in the OT-2 before turning on the HEPA Module! To power on the module, turn the knob clockwise. This will commence airflow through the OT-2. As you turn clockwise, the airflow rate decreases.

How to use the HEPA Module:

After setting up your HEPA Module, you're ready to use it! 😄 These are the steps to take to make sure it's fully functional:

  1. Decontaminate your workspace and any labware or modules you plan on putting inside

  2. Rotate the knob clockwise to turn on your HEPA Module

  3. Set up your OT-2 deck like you are about to run an experiment. Add all labware and reagents that will be needed

    1. The exception is anything that is frozen or refrigerated which can be added to the OT-2 when needed

  4. Close the front door of the OT-2

  5. Allow the HEPA filter to run for 1 hour on high to allow the air inside the OT-2 workspace to be filtered ⌛

  6. Run your protocol

  7. After finishing your protocol, turn off the HEPA filter

You have now run your HEPA filter for the first time! 🎉

Tip: Refrain from opening the door of the OT-2 as much as possible for best use.

Locating the serial number of your HEPA Module:

In the Opentrons App, navigate to the PIPETTES & MODULES tab. The serial number is displayed below each detected module.

Alternatively, you can find the serial number of your module by looking on the bottom of the physical device. There will be a sticker with letters and numbers.

Replacing the filter:

It's recommended after one year of use to change your filter. Here is how to replace your filter on the HEPA Module!

1) Turn the knob counterclockwise to turn off the HEPA Module and unplug it.

2) Remove the 6 screws and washers holding the adapter bracket and main HEPA unit together using your 2.5mm hex driver/Allen key.

3) With the help of a 2nd person, lift the main HEPA unit from the OT-2 and place it on a clear, flat surface.

4) The filter release latches are located under covers on each side of the main unit. Remove these covers and unbuckle the latches on either side. Make sure to also unbuckle the rear filter attachment latch.

5) Place a new air filter next to the main HEPA unit. Make sure the new filter has the arrow, indicating airflow, facing towards the ground.

6) With the help of another person, lift the main HEPA unit off of the old filter and place it on top of the new HEPA filter.

7) Re-buckle the latches on the side and back and replace the covers for the filter latches on either side.

8) Using two people, slide the main HEPA unit onto the adapter bracket of the HEPA Module and push until you hit the rear end of the bracket, making sure that the screw holes line up.

9) Reinstall the 6 screw that hold the main HEPA unit and the adapter bracket together using your 2.5mm hex driver/Allen key.

10) Then, turn the knob clockwise to start your HEPA Module.

Caution: Though an off-the-shelf filter may work, we recommend customers buy the filter we offer as our filter has design features which allow it to securely latch onto the fan enclosure. We cannot speak to the effectiveness of any third party filter.

Happy filtering! 😃

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