Thank you for purchasing SOMA's MW series hydraulic micromanipulator.

This micromanipulator is specifically designed for applications in patch clamping, intracellular recording and microinjection. The end product of years of intensive development and testing, it is engineered to provide high precision, low drift, long life and ease of use and service. We hope that your research work benefits from the new proprietary technology it incorporates.

Minimizing drift:

Tests of numerous types of micromanipulators have shown that maximum stability can only be attained when all mounting hardware and the microscope itself are stable to a value less than the overall drift that one can tolerate.

Sources that can have a deleterious effect include temperature fluctuations and vibrations resulting from pedestrian traffic in the building, street traffic, heating, air conditioning, slammed doors, noises, etc.

For maximum stability, all components in your recording setup, including the microscope, should be solidly anchored to a vibration isolated work surface. SOMA provides a complete line of vibration isolated workstations.

If at all possible, all existing plastic parts between the recording electrode and the micromanipulator should be replaced by parts made with metal such as aluminum or steel. Rubber feet on bottom of microscope should be removed.

Temperature fluctuations should be kept to a minimum and recording sites should be shielded from radiant heat sources such as illumination lamps and air currents from heating or cooling vents.


The probe holder can be removed (i.e. to replace it with custom made holders or adapters). Remove attaching screw with a 2 mm Allen wrench. When loosening this screw, grasp the probe holder to prevent applying excessive torque to the stage bearings underneath .

DO NOT attempt to adjust or remove any other screws. To do so may seriously interfere with proper operation of the manipulator and void warranty.

Regular maintenance:

Always keep micromanipulator covered when not in use or stored to prevent dust or other particles from contaminating stage bearings.

The fluid in the hydraulic mechanism is distilled water. Because Teflon hose is permeable to water, although very slowly, it will be necessary to refill the system periodically (2 to 5 years depending on condition of use). Refilling can be done at our factory at a nominal charge.

When micromanipulator is not in use, we recommend that you back off drive knobs to minimize fluid pressure in Teflon hoses (See diagram). This will slow water evaporation.


Each axis of this micromanipulator consists of a spring loaded miniature translation stage guided by high precision crossed roller bearings. To ensure proper operation, do not twist or bend any of the stages and under no circumstances should any stage be pushed or pulled by hand. Doing so may damage the hydraulic chambers rendering that axis inoperable.



When micro-manipulator is not in use, we recommend that you back off drive knobs to position (starting point of travel) shown below to minimize pressure in hydraulic lines. For Newport Model MX510/530 units retrofitted with Soma's MW series hydraulic mechanism, please see foot note*.

For technical assistance, please contact Dr. Pat Wong at (949) 854-0220 or email us at

*MX510 and MX530 have 2 mm of standard travel in each axis. For units retrofitted with extended travel of 4 mm (repair codes RMW510-4 & RMW530-4), position shown in diagram corresponds to mid point of travel only. For units retrofitted with standard travel (repair codes RMW510 & RMW530), position shown in diagram corresponds to end of travel. In all cases, knobs should be turned back further by another 2 mm to fully minimize pressure in hydraulic lines.

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