Long steps protocol creation


Dear Team,

I need to make long steps protocol for my experiment. 400 steps or more is estimated. It is pretty hard to make it using GUI. Through the effort, two questions were found. I’d like to have your suggestion.

  1. Can we make a protocol including loop steps.
    Most of the part of desired protocol is repeat of 5 or 6 steps. If the loop expression is available, protocol will be dramatically shorten.

  2. Copy of the steps
    The second best way is copy of the steps. Window with right crick after field selection seems copy function is available. However, it causes hung-up of the MicroDrop.

Your comment or suggestion will be helpful.


Hi Aki,

Which version of DropBot/MicroDrop are you using?

Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to program loops. Are you using routes?



Hi Ryan,
Thank you for your reply.

I’m using DropBot2 (SigGen v1.2, Cont. v2.1, HVSW v2.1) and MicroDrop v2.4.
As for MicroDrop, I have been hesitating to update, prioritizing the system stability. If it may solve the hung-up issue, I’m going to apply.

I know the loop function is not so easy to implement.
I had no experience to use routes. I’m going to check its applicability to my purpose.



Hi Aki,

The performance for editing large protocols was improved as of MicroDrop v2.25; however, we don’t currently have a version of the DropBot v2 plugin that is compatible. This is something we are working on, but we don’t have a scheduled release date yet.

In the meantime, I would recommend trying to implement your protocol using routes. Here’s a video showing a simple demonstration. You can also use cyclic routes (ones that start and end on the same electrode) to perform mixing operations. In my experience, routes can dramatically simplify protocol programming and reduce the number of steps, which might hep with the problem you are experiencing.



Thanks Ryan,

Please let us know at the time of compatible new version will be available.

I’m going to examine the route function is applicable to my experiment.

By the way, I found the copy/paste is available even in the microdrop v2.4 in some cases. I’ve tried uninstall and re-install some plug-in. I’m not sure which plug-in is causing but it is OK, so far.



Hi Aki,

We will post a message on the forum when the new plugin is released.

The copy/paste method should work in v2.4, but MicroDrop gets really slow (and can crash) for very long protocols. I think your best option right now is to see if you can use routes to shorten the protocol length.

Good luck!





I’m practicing to use the route function in my experiment. It may effective for shortening my protocol.
I suppose the path data should be included in the device file to use the route function like former picture. However some of the case, path data had not been generated as later one and route function is not available. Both device data were generated by the same procedure using Incscape0.91. How can I make the device file with path data?
Is there any misunderstanding of the procedure?



Hi Aki,

Sorry to hear about your troubles with drawing routes.

Here is a screencast where I’ve described how to attempt to automatically detect connections between adjacent electrodes. If this doesn’t work, there is also a way to manually draw connections in the SVG file, but it’s much more tedious.

Please take a look and let me know if it helps. If you’re still having troubles, I’m happy to help troubleshoot further.






Thanks a lot for your advice.
I’ve tried ‘detect connenctions’. The connections were detected and route definition was made successfully in some device file(former picture). In another device file, however, mis-detection was found(later picture).

If I can edit connection data in SVG file, it will be still helpful. I suppose it is easier than the long step sequence. Could you let me know how to edit it?




Hi Aki,

Here is a link to a new screencast demonstrating how to explicitly add connections between adjacent electrodes not detected by MicroDrop.

Please let me know if this helps.




Now I’ve got how to edit connections data and modified my device.svg file. It was successfully read by microDrop.

I truly appreciate your support. I’m going to try to utilize route function for my experiment.