In the lab pipetting is a basic function used for many important procedures. These days, there is a pipette for nearly every requirement you could possibly think of, so how do you know where to start when looking for the right tool for your needs? Well we’re here to advise you on some of the factors to think about when making this important decision.
When choosing a pipette for your application you need to consider the physical properties of your sample, along with the type of analysis you are performing and the volume range required. These factors will determine which pipette and tip you should use.
How do air-displacement pipettes work?
Positive-displacement pipettes work like a syringe. As the disposable piston is in direct contact with the sample, there is no air cushion to expand or contract meaning that the aspiration force remains constant and unaffected by the physical properties of the sample. This ensures accurate pipetting with very viscous or high density samples, such as mercury or toothpaste.
Positive-displacement pipettes are recommended for forensic or diagnostic assays, where it is essential to eliminate any potential of cross contamination between samples.
Whatever task you are doing, ensuring that your tool is delivering accurate and precise results is absolutely crucial. A droplet of reagent or sample, no matter how small can have major implications in research, quality control and clinical laboratories. Although ergonomic factors are important that must be considered, ultimately, pipettes must reliably offer the highest accuracy, precision and robustness over a number of years of use.
It is important to keep in mind that, even with the most popular brands, there is significant variation in specifications. Even from new, not all pipette specifications are equal, and to ensure the most consistent and exact results, scientists should use equipment that offers the minimal source of error.