Precision Laboratory Pipettes for Life Science Research
A pipette is a measuring tool designed to aspirate and dispense specific volumes of liquids. Pipettes are used globally in top academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical life science research laboratories. Rainin offers a wide range of ergonomic micropipettes and pipettes that include single-channel, multichannel and specialty pipettes.
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METTLER TOLEDO supports and services your pipettes through their entire life-cycle, from good pipetting techniques to preventive maintenance and calibration to equipment repair.
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What is a pipette?
Pipettes are handheld instruments commonly used in academic, biotech, pharmaceutical and other labs 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 are capable of aspirating and dispensing liquid in increments as small as a fraction of a microliter.
The most common pipette used in life science labs around the world is the single-channel air displacement pipette. Rainin pipettes are available in both manual and electronic models and are available as single channel, multichannel, and multichannel adjustable spacer pipettes.
How does a pipette work?
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 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.
What is a micropipette?
Micropipettes are pipettes capable of measuring and dispensing liquid solutions in the volume range of 1 µL to 1,000 µL. They are commonly used in life science-related research where the accurate measurement and dispensing of solutions is required.
What is pipetting accuracy and precision?
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. There are some powerful, yet simple techniques that 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.
Where can I buy a pipette?
Rainin offers a wide range of manual or electronic single channel, multichannel, or high throughput pipetting instruments, as well as 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.
What is a pipette used for in science?
A pipette is used as a precision tool designed to move a measured amount of solution from one location to another in a range from microliter to milliliters. Pipettes are used by labs worldwide, including labs involved in life science research experimentation, chemical testing, petroleum, and food manufacturing. Basically, they are used in any industry that has biological testing as a requirement.