Managers and administrators need to keep track of a lot of things to run a laboratory. For technicians to do their jobs properly and deliver reliable results, they have to have the proper equipment and tools for the job. Pipettes are an essential tool for every lab. There are many different kinds of pipettes for different purposes in the lab. A pipette is a laboratory tool that is used to transport a measured amount of liquid, usually as a reagent dispenser. Most create a partial vacuum above the liquid holding chamber and then release the vacuum in a controlled way to extract and remove all liquids. They’re available in different designs to serve many purposes with differing levels of precision and accuracy. Using the right pipette for the job can prevent mishaps, improves productivity, and saves your lab money. Read on to learn about a few different pipettes to help you better understand which ones you need.
Air Displacement Pipettes
Air displacement pipettes are for regular use with aqueous solutions. In air displacement pipettes, air remains between the piston and any liquid. Air displacement pipette types include:
- Volume handled
- Fixed or adjustable
- Single-channel, multi-channel
- Cylindrical tips or conical tips, with or without filters
- Electronic or manual
Regardless of the manufacturer or the pipette’s price, every manufacturer recommends checking the pipette’s calibration periodically, every six months, depending on the regularity and kind of use. Some of the different kinds of air-displacement pipettes are:
- Positive Displacement Pipettes are less common type used for highly viscous and volatile liquids at small volumes to avoid contamination. In positive-displacement pipetting, the piston will directly contract the liquid. Its disposable tip is a microsyringe with a plunger that helps directly displace the liquid.
- Graduated Pipettes – these consist of a long tube with a series of graduations, much like a graduated cylinder or burette, to help indicate the different calibrated volumes.
Pasteur pipettes are usually glass or plastic pipettes that are used to transfer smaller, unmeasured liquid volumes. But they aren’t graduated or calibrated for any specific volume. The bulb is separate from the pipette body. Pasteur pipettes are also known as droppers, eye droppers, or chemical droppers.
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