Note: This tutorial covers execution of a workflow. If you would like to configure a workflow first, please refer to the Configure a Workflow article.
What are transfer tables?
Transfer tables allow you to manage sample transfer into or between containers directly within your workflow entry.
Transfer tables are separated by individual container types, and each transfer table can only transfer into a specified container schema.
Each row in a transfer table corresponds to a transfer. A transfer may simultaneously transfer a sample to multiple containers. You may specify the barcodes to which the sample must be transferred or automatically generate barcodes.
If you can't find transfer tables in the insert menu, please use the in-app help function to contact Benchling to enable these.
Add a transfer table to your workflow entry
Adding a transfer table to your workflow entry can be done by entering your notebook via the “insert” menu on the formatting panel.
Next, you will be prompted to select the container schema that your transfer table will be working with. For this example, we will select the Cryovial schema type.
Note: Transfer tables are separated by individual container type and each transfer table can only transfer into a specified container schema. Ensure you select whether your container will be in a plate/box or in another location (such as a freezer).
You have now created a blank transfer table that will allow you to transfer samples directly within your workflow. Note that each row you add to this table represent a sample transfer. The table columns are:
- Stage run
- Number of containers
- Position (if applicable)
- Any additional columns for container fields specific to the container type you are working with [Note: Material is a custom field for Cryovial in this tutorial's example]
Fill out a transfer table
Once you have created a transfer table, the next step is to input relevant information to conduct a sample transfer.
Step 1: Add a row to your transfer table
To do this, click on the “+” button on the top left corner of your transfer table and click add row.
On the screen that appears, you may then select samples that you would like to move into your transfer table (selecting from all sources, inputs, or cell line batches coming from a registration table)
Changing the number of rows for a specific sample allows you to store a sample in multiple separate containers. Alternately, you can create multiple containers in one row if most of the other fields are identical (for location, volume, concentration and container fields).
Clicking “Add” will add these rows to your transfer table and autopopulate the applicable stage run.
Step 2: Search for location
Double click on the “Choose Location” box in the Location Column to choose a location
You may choose either from (1) an existing location (which autopopulate) or (2) creating a new location
If you choose to create a new location, several options will be available to you as per the window below:
Step 3: Specify number of containers
By default, one container is made per column.
However, you may change this number to create multiple containers if all of the following are the same for each container.
- Container Fields
Step 4: Select position to fill the sample
To do this, you may either:
- Manually type the well position coordinate (e.g. A4)
- Autopopulate the next available position in the location you have specified (Across rows or down columns)
Step 5: Specify barcode (if needed)
In this column, you have the choice to either:
- Specify your own barcode
- Leave the cell blank (system will autocreate a barcode)
- If the chosen position is actually an empty container, Benchling will fill in the related barcode automatically.
Step 6: Fill out Volume and Concentration
Fill out these columns and their units, as needed. These fields are optional.
Step 7: Fill out any remaining columns
Fill out columns pertaining to container fields, as needed. These fields may be optional depending on the container type.
Step 8: Click Transfer
Click Transfer and your sample will be transferred to your specified containers!
Upload to a table (via spreadsheet upload)
To bulk add transfers via a spreadsheet, click the “+” button at the top right of the transfer table for the workflow step you are working on - then click on Import from Spreadsheet.
You will then see a window that will allow you to import from either a (1) spreadsheet or (2) raw text input.
For a spreadsheet upload, the first row should specify column headers, which must be unique. Each row after that should specify an input sample. Each column must represent a field in your input sample table.
For a raw text upload, enter comma- or tab-separated text in the box that appears. Pasting from Excel is supported. The first row should specify column headers - which must be unique. Each row after that should specify a transfer. Each column must represent the column headers in the transfer table.