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Measuring Viscosity at Super Low Volumes with the EMS-1000S Viscometer!

While the standard EMS-1000S instrument can measure samples as low as 300µL in volume, it can be customized to measure samples down to an impressive 90µL! This makes it feasible to assay samples of which only scarce amounts can be spared, such as biological specimens like blood and antibodies, through to materials of interest in the R&D of OLEDs and ionic liquids.

Kyoto Electronics Manufacturing (KEM) provides factory customization of the EMS-1000S to make it compatible with the low-volume assay consumables and utensils required for sample measurement. In this blog entry, we will show you how to use the consumables and utensils to set your sample in a customized EMS-1000S.

How to use the small sample containers with a customized EMS-1000S (with video guide).

First an explanation of the utensils and consumables:

Photo of the consumables and utensils used to measure the viscosity of super low volume samples using Kyoto Electronics' EMS-1000S Viscometer

L to R: probe container, tube rack, small sample tubes, tube cap, tweezers, tube holder with insulating sleeve attached.

Tube holder

The tube holder is a tool that is used to set both the insulating sleeve and the small sample tube into the instrument’s sample receptacle.

Insulating sleeve

The copper insulating sleeve is a utensil used to ensure a stable temperature for samples in the small sample container.

Small sample tube

These tubes are designed for low-volume assays.


Polyethylene caps for the small sample tubes.

φ2mm Aluminium Spheres

These are the measurement probes compatible with the small sample tubes. They are 2mm in diameter and composed of Aluminium.

Tube rack for small sample tubes

A tube rack that holds up to 50 small sample tubes. The rack has an open design so that you can see which tubes have had a probe placed in them.

Probe container

A container for the metal sphere probes.

We recommend watching this video to accompany the article.


1. Using the tube holder, set the insulating sleeve into the sample tube receptacle of the EMS-1000S Viscometer.

2. Fit the small sample tube (containing your sample and a probe) into the tube holder and then insert it into the instrument.

3. Close the sample receptacle's lid and start measuring!

Table: Comparison of our small sample tube to our standard sample tube

Standard Sample Tube

Small Sample Tube

Minimum measurable volume



​Sample tube outer diameter



Compatible probes

(φ = diameter symbol)

​φ2 mm Aluminium

φ4.7mm Aluminium

φ1.5mm Aluminium alloy

φ5.0mm Titanium

φ2mm Aluminium

​Measurement temperature range



*The cap of the small sample tube is made from polyethylene and will start to soften at 70°C. We can provide caps for higher heat resistance by special order, so please feel free to contact us to obtain them.

The small sample tube (right) is shown next to the standard sample tube

How to organize the customization of your EMS-1000S.

You can request customization either at the time of ordering or after purchase. When ordering, KEM or our distributor will ask if you would like a customized version when discussing the quote. If you have the default instrument and decide later that you would like it to be customized, please contact your distributor and they will organize for it to be sent to our Japanese factory.


We hope that you enjoyed learning about how to use our EMS-1000S for super low-volume assays. If you would like to know more about the EMS-1000S Viscometer, please feel free to contact us by clicking the yellow “contact” button at the top of the page! In our next blog entry, we will take you through a practical example of using the low-volume consumables to measure gelatin. See you then!


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