Pipettor | Pipette Filler | Plastic Pipette
Pipettes come in two varieties: volumetric and measuring. Volumetric pipettes are designed to transfer a specific, predetermined volume of liquid. They resemble simple glass tubes and cannot be used to accurately measure liquid amounts less than their specified capacity. Measuring pipettes, on the other hand, are calibrated with small divisions and are often adjustable, allowing users to accurately draw up however much liquid they desire. Measuring pipettes tend to be larger than volumetric pipettes, making them better for general use but less useful when transferring incredibly small volumes of liquid.
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Regardless of the type of pipette being used, using them takes care and attention. To prevent damage when drawing in a liquid, place the pipette 1/4th of an inch from the bottom of your container. Then place your finger over the end or gently squeeze the bulb at the end, depending on the type of pipette. When the required volume has been drawn up, gently tap the side of the pipette to remove excess droplets. Then, hold the pipette at a 10 to 20 degree angle when dispensing. Do not blow through a pipette to remove excess liquid.
Pipettes require cleaning after every use, to ensure that they stay accurate and to prevent contamination from any previous contents. To clean one, draw distilled water into the pipette and tilt it, so that the water makes contact with the inside surface of the pipette. Repeat this process twice, then rinse the entire pipette with distilled water to finish cleaning it.
Using a pipette is one of the first skills you’ll learn in a biology or chemistry lab class. It might seem easy, but it’s important to get it right because you’ll use a pipette in many of your experiments, so if you consistently employ bad technique, it could ruin many of your results. There are three kinds of pipettes typically used in labs: Pasteur pipettes, volumetric pipettes and micropipettes. Volumetric pipettes are more common in chemistry laboratories, while micropipettes and Pasteur pipettes are indispensable in molecular biology and biochemistry labs.
Examine your micropipette. At the top it has a plunger that you can push in to empty the micropipette; next to the plunger is an ejector you can use to eject the plastic tip from the end of the micropipette. Along the side, it has a volume adjustment wheel you can use to adjust the volume the pipette will take up or contain.
Look at the volume dial along the side of the micropipette. Micropipettes measure volumes in microliters. Determine what the volume is set to at present and adjust that volume with the volume adjustment wheel to reach the appropriate or desired volume.
Insert the end of the micropipette shaft into one of the plastic tips in your plastic tip box. Do not handle the plastic tip with your fingers.
Depress the plunger with your thumb until you reach the first stop.
Insert the plastic tip of the pipette just below the surface of the fluid or water in your beaker.
Release your thumb pressure on the plunger, slowly and gently, drawing fluid into the plastic tip of the micropipette. Once the plunger has traveled all the way out, remove the pipette tip from the solution.
Transfer the pipette to the receiving vessel/beaker/microfuge tube and place the tip just below the surface of the fluid in the receiving vessel. Do not submerge it completely.
Depress the plunger slowly and gently to expel all the fluid in the micropipette tip. This time, continue to apply pressure past the first stop until you reach the second stop.
Remove the pipette tip from the solution. Then release your thumb pressure on the plunger of the pipette.
Follow your lab’s protocol for disposing of the micropipette tips.