PourBoy® 4 Sterile Media Dispenser, incl. Pump-Tubing Set

PB4:  $918.92 - In Stock

Power Options

Pumping Speed

Variable Speed

This new device is so good, you can actually get excited about pouring Petri dishes. We periodically ask labs for their "wish lists", and on more than one occasion, researchers have said, "A good, inexpensive, reliable sterile media dispenser." Most devices on the market are either expensive, unreliable peristaltic pumps, or expensive unreliable motor-driven, syringe-based pumps.

     At Tritech Research, we designed a system combining simple, yet elegant, foot pedal controlled electronic dispensing circuitry with an inexpensive, detachable, miniature, high-tech electromagnetic pump that is easy to sterilize to make the PourBoy 4.  It can still be sterilized with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and hot water.  See our Extra Pump-Tubing set (PB4-PTS) product description for more details. The standard Single-speed model dispenses at a rate of approx. 3 mL / sec. The Variable Speed option allows for slower rates than this. For higher flow rates, we have added a High Speed pump option. This higher-capacity pump runs at about 12ml/sec, and it is availabel with a variable speed option as well.

Great new features on the PourBoy® 4 include:
  • easily user-calibrated to accurately deliver volumes from 0.1 to 999.0 mL
  • user-settable pause interval from 0.1 to 999 seconds between each dispensing operation
  • user memory to store common dispensing operations, i.e different Petri dish sizes
  • microprocessor-controlled accuracy, and a fully digital, wipe-to-clean membrane keypad

Note: The PourBoy® 4 pumps are designed to pump smooth liquids, like aqueous solutions, hot molten agar, and oils, but not particulate materials like grits, grains, pastes, etc.  For example, it is great for dispensing hot agar growth media into Petri dishes and dispensing sterile cell culture media, but not suitable for dispensing oatmeal or Drosohila food.  The PourBoy 4 is a new improved replacement for the PourBoy III.  It uses less expensive pumps yet they are less prone to jamming, and it has built-in temperature compensation for improved calibration accuracy over a wide range of media temperatures.  The PourBoy 4 is the preferred device for C. elegans labs that need to dispense NGM medium and pour thousands of Petri dishes per week. Here is a recent publication referencing the PB4:

Re-replication of a Centromere Induces Chromosomal Instability and Aneuploidy. Stacey L. Hanlon, Joachim J. Li. PLOS Genetics. April 22, 2015.

Feel free to contact us for your special dispensing needs, such as integration with computer-controlled multichannel dispensers.  If you can think of it, we can probably make it!

Approximate specifications of the PourBoy IV:

Height: 14cm (5.5")
Width: 15.5cm (6")
Depth: 20cm (8")
Weight: 1kg (2.2 lbs)
Pumping rate, full speed, Standard Pump, normal conditions: 3ml / sec
Pumping rate, full speed, High Speed Pump, normal conditions: 12ml / sec


Q: I am having media contamination problems when using my PourBoy. How can I sterilize the pump tubing set?
A: There is a very easy and effective way to sterilize the pump-tubing set - you can recirculate hydrogen peroxide through it. The "drugstore grade" 2% hydrogen peroxide works fine for this. While alcohol is pretty good at killing most bacteria, hydrogen peroxide is very effective at killing both bacteria and fungus, yet it is much more compatible with the internal components of the pump than bleach (which is not recommended). Of course, it is also important to do negative controls when looking for the source of contamination. Hopefully, you already know that there is no contamination already present in the "sterilized" media or the Petri dishes. The next time that you pour a batch plates you could manually pour a few using a sterile pipette to make sure that the source of the contamination is not upstream from the PourBoy.

Q: How precise and consistent is the PourBoy?
A: The PourBoy can deliver liquid volumes precisely from 0.1 mL to 999.0 mL. The precision is controlled by a microprocessor, which ensures consistency of aliquots. Precision using the standard pump is typically within 2%. Reproducibility can be affected by hydrostatic pressure - the difference in height between the input medium and the output dispensing tube. Do what you can to minimize changes in this height over the course of dispensing. This difference is more pronounced with the High Speed pump than the Standard pump.

Q: Do you have to hit the foot pedal for each dispensing operation?
A: The PourBoy has two dispensing modes, Manual and Automatic. In Manual Mode, the set volume is dispensed each time the foot pedal is pressed. In Automatic Mode, you can set the pause interval between deliveries of media, and press the foot-pedal once to start and once to stop the cycle.

Q: What is the difference between a Standard and a High Speed PourBoy?
A: The High Speed PourBoy is capable of a 5x faster rate of media flow than the standard version. The pump can dispense liquids at a rate of ~800ml/minute vs. ~180ml/min. Both versions have a variable speed option. Without the variable speed option, the pump always runs at its maximum speed; the variable speed allows it to slow down to flow rates below maximum.

Q: What happens if the PourBoy sterile media dispenser ends up clogged?
A: We ALWAYS recommend that you purchase an extra set of pump tubing with your PourBoy sterile media dispenser in case you encounter any problems with the original tubing. This way, you can quickly change out the tubing and continue working, and worry about cleaning it later.

† These are our list prices. If you are paying with an Institutional Purchase Order or by check, you qualify for a 7.5% discount. Click here to change your payment method and see the lower prices.