Benchling has released a new version of the transfer table. This article describes the new features and functionality. Read more about the historical transfer table and the differences between the historical and new transfer table.

What are transfer tables?

Transfer tables allow you to manage sample transfer into or between containers directly within your notebook entry.

Each container type will use its own version of a transfer table. With this, each transfer table can only transfer into a single, 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 notebook or workflow entry

1. Add a transfer table to an entry by opening the notebook entry, navigating to the Insert menu on the formatting panel, and selecting Transfer table.

2. Specify if the samples are to be transferred into newly created containers or existing containers.

3. Select the Source that the sample is being taken from (Entity, Container, Plate), the Destination that the sample is going to (Container or Box), and the Container Schema of that destination. When creating new containers, select a method for generating barcodes, either autogenerated barcodes (created by Benchling using the container schema settings) or custom barcodes (written manually by the user). If using existing containers, you will not be prompted to create barcodes as the barcodes of the existing containers will be used automatically.

4. Select Insert to insert the transfer table into the entry. Continue to the next section to learn how to add samples to the table and transfer them to containers directly within the notebook entry using the transfer table.

Note that each row that is added to this table will represent a sample transfer.  The table columns are:

  • Source Container (if the sample is being taken from another container)

  • Source Entity

  • Destination Location, Box, or Plate (depending on the Destination specified)

  • Destination Position (the location of the new container within the box or plate)

  • Destination Container (automatically populated after the Transfer button is selected to fill the containers)

  • Quantity (Right click to specify the units)

  • Concentration (Right click to specify the units)

  • Any additional columns for container fields specific to the selected container schema

Fill out a transfer table

Once a transfer table is created, the next step is to input the relevant information to conduct a sample transfer.

1. Add samples to the transfer table.

(a) Add an entity to your transfer table directly. Click into the Source Entity cell and type to search for existing entities. Add more rows by dragging down the three horizontal line icon at the bottom left of the table.

(b) Add an entity from a structured table, worklist, or spreadsheet. To import entities from other sources, click on the “+” icon on the top left corner of your transfer table. Select one of the following:

  • Add from structured table to add entities from registration tables or transfer tables in the current entry

  • Add from worklist to add entities from an existing worklist

  • Add from spreadsheet to import multiple samples in bulk into the transfer table using a spreadsheet that matches the table columns (see this section for more information).

2. Specify the destination location by double-clicking in the cells of the Destination column. Type to search for a location, box, or plate.

3. If applicable, specify the position within the box or plate that the sample will fill by:

  • Manually type the well position coordinate (e.g. A4).

  • Auto-populate the next available position(s) in the location(s) you have specified. Select the 3x3 squares icon in the top right corner and specify if auto-fill should occur across rows or down columns in the destination.

4. If applicable, complete the quantity, concentration, and container fields. Click into the respective cells for quantity, concentration, and container fields and input the appropriate information. It is not required to specify a quantity or a concentration for a container.

5. Select Transfer to transfer the sample(s) into the specified containers!

Bulk importing transfers via the add from spreadsheet option

To bulk add transfers via a spreadsheet, click the “+” icon at the top of the transfer table and select Add from Spreadsheet.

You will then see a window that will allow you to import from either a spreadsheet or raw text.

For a spreadsheet upload, the first row should specify column headers which must be unique and should match the columns of the transfer table. Each subsequent row should specify an input sample and the associated transfer data per column (ex. Destination Location, Destination Position, Quantity, Concentration, etc.).

For a raw text upload, enter comma- or tab-separated text in the box that appears. Pasting data from a spreadsheet is supported. Be sure that the first row specifies column headers. These must be unique and should match the columns of the transfer table. Each subsequent row should specify an input sample and the associated transfer data per column (ex. Destination Location, Destination Position, quantity, Concentration, etc.).

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