Help Center

Welcome to Cerillo’s Help Center! Explore our Quick Start Guides, Instructional Videos, and Frequently Asked Questions to maximize the effectiveness of our products and drive your research success. Whether you’re setting up for the first time or looking for advanced tips, our resources are designed to provide the support you need. If you have any additional questions or require further assistance, our dedicated support team is always here to help.

For technical support click here.

Alto Microplate Reader

Alto Quick Start Guide (PDF)

Alto User Manual (PDF)

Labrador User Manual

Alto Quickstart Guide (PDF)

Stratus Microplate Reader

Stratus Quick Start Guide (PDF)

Stratus User Manual (PDF)

Labrador User Manual

Stratus Quickstart Guide (PDF)

Video Demonstrations

Setting up your plate reader

Plate Reader
Pro-Tips

Labrador Software & Canopy Wireless Device

Canopy & Labrador FAQs (PDF)

Labrador User Manual

Quick Help & Tips

Cerillo device does not appear in Labrador when connected via a USB cable

There are a variety of reasons a Cerillo device may not be discovered by Labrador; the following steps may help the software rediscover the device, and if not, will help prepare for more advanced troubleshooting measures.

  1. Unplug your device and plug it back in again to a USB receptacle that is known to work. Watch the status LED; when it boots, the status LED should turn white and then off. If it does, we know that the onboard firmware is functional. If it does not, follow device recovery instructions here.
  2. While the device is plugged in to power, and after it has finished booting, press the right-hand (stop) button. The status LED should turn red while you press it down. If it does, we know that the device is running. If it does not, follow device recovery instructions here.
  3. Ensure that the device’s microSD card is fully inserted into its receptacle, and that the device has been power-cycled since the microSD card was last removed. (If you remove and reinsert the microSD card at this step, be sure to unplug and re-plug the device afterward to ensure it recognizes the card.)
  4. Ensure that you are using Cerillo Labrador, rather than a previous software package (such as “Cerillo Device Manager”)
  5. Ensure the USB cable is firmly inserted into both your computer and your device.
  6. Click “load devices” again; sometimes the initial load operation completes before the device is fully booted.
  7. Ensure you only have Labrador opened once on the computer. If it is opened multiple times, close all copies of it and open it fresh, then repeat step 6.
  8. Close Labrador, unplug the device, plug it back in, and restart Labrador. Then repeat step 6. This will ensure that the device is freshly connected and Labrador is able to access it.
  9. Unplug your device from your computer. Then, remove the microSD card and plug it into your computer using a card adapter, so that you can directly see and manipulate the files as you would use a flash drive. Copy the contents to a safe place on your computer; this is your backup. Reformat the microSD card to FAT32; this will erase all of the data on the card (which is why you backed up your data), and is effectively a factory reset. Reinsert the card, plug your device back in, and reopen Labrador. Try loading devices again to see if your device appears.
  10. Try connecting the device to your computer using a different USB cable, if you have one.
  11. If you are using a USB hub, try plugging the device directly into your computer instead of the hub, if this is possible.
  12. Try connecting to a different computer.

In the vast majority of cases, one or more of the above steps will resolve the problem. However, if all of the above has failed, please contact us with the results of your testing and any other observations. Additionally, please send us Labrador’s log file, which can be accessed via the “Help” menu, in “View Log File.” We will be happy to troubleshoot with you further.

Having trouble installing software

For specific installation instructions click here.

My device stops taking readings mid-way through an experiment

Primary causes:

  1. Battery power ran out or device became unplugged.

  2. Duration setting applied under device settings.
  3. Device was in endpoint reading mode. If endpoints are enabled, start button must be held until Stratus light flashes to start a continuous read.

The OD of my non-inoculated control samples is increasing

OD change over time in non-inoculated wells can be caused by evaporation or temperature change, especially when these wells are located along an edge. To prevent evaporation, use transparent, breathable membranes, such as Breathe Easy membranes, to seal your experimental plate. Equilibrating your instrument to experimental temperature prior to calibration and beginning data collection is essential

My instrument is recording an unexpected temperature during my experiment

While the Stratus and Alto can generate a small amount of heat, they do not control temperature or generate substantial temperature change over the environmental temperature. Many incubators and anaerobic chambers have hot spots around the heat source. Moving the instrument away from the heat source can help keep the instrument closer to the intended temperature.

When should I take Kinetic vs Endpoint readings?

An endpoint reading gives the optical density of a sample at the moment. Kinetic readings show optical density measurements over time, generating curves, such as those for microbial growth. Because the Stratus specializes as a kinetic plate reader, endpoint readings from the Stratus carry a relatively high error and are meant to give a general comparison of ODs between samples at a particular time. The Alto can take both Endpoint and Kinetic readings with high precision and reproducibility.

I calibrated my plate reader with my experimental plate to set all wells to zero, but the optical densities did not start at zero during my experimental measurements

Calibration should happen in the exact environmental conditions as the experiment and the instrument should not be moved after calibration. If measurements are taken while shaking, then calibration should also happen with shaking

Can I remove samples from my experimental plate during my experiment?

Moving, opening, or disrupting the plate reader in any way can create error in experimental measurements, especially with a Stratus. The Alto is compatible with sample collection from the experimental plate during growth experiments, as long as the instrument is closed and returned to its experimental measurement conditions (the same conditions where the Alto completed its calibration) prior to the next measurement. Be aware that any disturbance of samples, including volume reduction, can create discontinuities and noise in the data due to disturbance of the plate reader.

Should the readings from my Stratus plate reader match readings from other spectrophotometers?

As a kinetic plate reader, the Stratus sets the OD for all samples to zero prior to taking experimental measurements. Because optical densities are set to zero and then measured relatively, experimental measurements likely will not match measurements taken by other spectrophotometers.

Can I correlate OD readings from my plate reader to OD readings for a cuvette or growth flask?

OD readings for samples in a well plate often do not align perfectly with OD readings for other growth environments or sample formats. Volume and environmental conditions, such as oxygenation, can impact microbial growth, leading to measurement variation.

I am having trouble loading my experimental data into Labrador

Difficulty loading data into Labrador could be related to connectivity issues. Force refreshing an experiment can correct partially or incorrectly loaded data. If force refreshing data does not correct the issue, data may be able to be loaded directly from the microSD card. If the data does not exist on the microSD card, the instrument was likely either disconnected from power or data could not be recorded due to a corrupted microSD card. The microSD card can become corrupted by removing or reinserting the microSD card from the instrument while the device is powered on. For more troubleshooting information, please refer to Labrador Troubleshooting.

Application Notes