A pipette is a measuring tool designed to aspirate and dispense specific volumes of liquids. Lab pipettes are used globally in top academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical life science research laboratories. Rainin offers a wide range of ergonomic pipettes including single-channel, multichannel and specialty pipettes.
METTLER TOLEDO supports and services your pipettes through their entire life-cycle, from good pipetting techniques to preventive maintenance and calibration to equipment repair.
Pipettes (micropipettes) are handheld instruments commonly used in academic, biotech, pharmaceutical, and other laboratories to transfer precise amounts of liquid from one container to another.
Pipettes range from very basic graduated glass tubes to sophisticated precision instruments that, along with pipette tips, can aspirate and dispense liquid in increments as small as a fraction of a microliter.
The single-channel air displacement pipette is the most common in life science laboratories worldwide. Rainin pipettes are available in manual and electronic models and are available as single-channel, multichannel, and multichannel adjustable spacer pipettes.
There are two types of pipettes: Positive displacement and air pipettes. Positive displacement pipettes are commonly used for samples of high viscosity (e.g. glycerol) or high vapor pressure (e.g. volatiles like alcohol), while air-displacement pipettes can be used for a majority of laboratory applications.
Modern pipettes, also known as micropipettes, work with a piston-stroke principle – liquid is measured using the piston-cylinder system in the handle of the pipette. When the piston is depressed and then slowly released, the movement of the piston creates a vacuum in the pipette tip and thus draws liquid up inside the tip; which is called aspiration.
Since the piston in a pipette is a long way from the liquid sample, the air cushion between the piston and liquid can have a number of effects on the accuracy of this process, depending on the liquid type. Pressing down on the plunger that has a tip full of liquid expels the liquid out from the tip; this is called dispensing.
Positive displacement pipettes work on a similar principle, however the tip of the positive displacement system contains its own piston and hence there is a minimal air cushion between the piston (that is part of the tip) and the liquid surface.
Pipetting accuracy is the ability of a pipette to deliver the volume specified on the volume setting. In other words, the trueness of a measurement to the true value depends on the interplay of the elements in the system.
Pipetting precision is the ability of a pipette to consistently deliver same-sized volumes of liquid over multiple aliquots. A pipette can be precise with regard to dispensing the same volume time after time, yet inaccurate because it fails to dispense the correct volume. An accurate and precise pipette dispenses volumes at the intended volume with each dispense.
The pipette, the pipette tip, and the person operating the pipette form a 3-part system. The pipette operator, the person using the pipette to conduct research, has a high degree of influence on the accuracy of results. As such, it is important that operators are trained to use a pipette. Some powerful yet simple techniques can greatly improve pipetting accuracy. The Rainin Pipetting Technique Poster offers a good summary. Additionally, Rainin offers the Good Pipetting Practice Online Seminar to assist in learning the proper way to pipette.
Rainin offers a wide range of manual and electronic single channel, multichannel, or high throughput pipetting instruments and calibration services to ensure your results remain accurate. Rainin pipettes are available globally for purchase. Interested in purchasing a pipette? Request a quote at the top of this page.
How much a pipette costs depends on the type of pipette: single or multichannel, manual or electronic. Pipette price varies based on precision (accuracy specifications), materials, and craftsmanship.
Pipettes are used in laboratories worldwide, including labs involved in life science research experimentation, chemical testing, petroleum, and food manufacturing. They are used in any industry that has biological testing as a requirement.
To choose the suitable pipette for the task, consider a few factors: liquid type, number of replicates, time sensitivity, and pipetting volume.
First, what type of liquid are you pipetting?
The type of vessels involved in your application and the number of replicates are also critical factors in selecting a pipette.
If your protocol is time-sensitive, consider multichannel pipettes and high-throughput pipetting platforms to accomplish the most in the least amount of time. Electronic versions of these instruments can deliver the most significant time savings.
What volume are you pipetting?