Pipettes are available in a wide array of forms, meaning that scientists are faced with many different options when looking for a new device. However, some guidelines can assist with choosing the suitable pipette for their laboratory needs.
Is it suitable for the task?
No one pipette will be suitable for all the tasks a pipette could need to perform, but it is possible to narrow the options. Seven factors determine which liquid handling systems are the most suitable:
- Type of vessel
- Type of liquid
- Task complexity
- Quality of the tip
- Availability of the tip
It is vital to make sure you have an adequate supply of tips. A universal system using tips from various manufacturers instead of just one single source is a good way to avoid shortages.
Hand tools should fit the hand and the finger hook of a pipette should enable it to rest in the hand without it having to be squeezed.
Pipettes need care and attention to ensure they can keep working at their best.
How to choose the right pipette
A number of performance features need to be taken into consideration when choosing a new pipette, including:
Scientists should determine whether they need a single or multichannel pipette or even a pipette controller. It is a good idea to find a device with certain features such as:
- Adjustable volume
- Capable of aspirating and dispensing pipetting modes
- Being simple to operate and come with a lightweight, ergonomic design
- Being a quality product from a trusted brand
If the pipette will be used in a fume-hood or clean-room, choose plastic housing that is durable and UV resistant.
The work being performed in a laboratory can also require other features of a pipette such as features that reduce the risk of contamination like positive displacement.
Ergonomics are a crucial aspect of any purchasing choice. As well as requiring little force to operate and being comfortable to hold, pipettes also need to be capable of meeting all human factors, such as it being intuitive to operate and having buttons of appropriate shapes and sizes so it is easy to press the ones wanted and avoid those unwanted.
It is also vital to have tip ejection that is preferably electronic or at least as light as possible as this step is the one that requires the most force in pipetting and also has to be carried hundreds of time every single day.
Ensure the pipette is being operated as intended by the manufacturer, take regular breaks, and set it down when not in use or if tired.
When high levels of pipetting are required in labs or applications, the device type can make a big difference. A pipette controller or electronic pipette could be a good idea to reduce the repetition risk.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right pipette for laboratory needs and use and technology will allow users to get the most from their pipetting application. View more information at RS.