Pipettes are a piece of lab equipment that we all use quite frequently. However, there are many different types of pipette tips that are used for different applications. They range anywhere from non-sterile to sterile, filtered to unfiltered, long to short, and low retention to wide bore. A lot of these pipette tips can be overwhelming too, and it can be confusing figuring out which ones are used for which laboratory experiments or tests. So, let us explore what a few of these options are good for. Read on for a helpful guide on the various types of pipette tips!
Non-Sterile and Sterile Pipettes
It is common knowledge that sterile tips should be used for applications where sterility is essential. However, can you buy non-sterile tips and autoclave them yourself to save some money? In theory, the answer is yes. However, you have to really make sure that the manufacturer declares them as autoclavable and make sure you’re staying aware of the following:
- A lack of quality control: Tip manufacturers validate their sterilization process and perform regular quality checks. In contrast, individual labs do not test the effectiveness of their own autoclaving process, which could lead to contaminated samples.
- Autoclaved pipette tips are not free of RNase and DNase: tips that you have autoclaved yourself are sterile, which means they’re free of living organisms, but not necessarily from RNase or DNase. If you have to perform sensitive assays where this is required, you should go and opt for sterile tips from a reliable manufacturer who can certify that their tips are free of both RNase and DNase.
Long Pipette Tips
Have you ever risked potential cross-contamination by putting the shaft of your pipette into a tube for a tip to reach the bottom? To cut back on this risk, a lot of manufacturers offer extended-length pipettes that are suitable for lab use, like microcentrifuge pipettes or deep ell blocks.
Short Pipette Tips
Short tips offer two different advantages. First, they support the targeting or any small wells, like when manually pipetting into a 384 or a 1536 well plate with multichannel pipettes. Second, they offer improved ergonomics by letting you pipette closer towards the bench, reducing the strain you have on your arm.
Wide Bore Pipette Tips
Fragile cellular samples can become damaged when they’re forced through a narrow orifice of standard pipette tips. Therefore, use wide bore tips when you’re transferring cellular samples, like fragile cell lines or other types of vicious materials. The wide orifice of these tips prevents any shearing and cuts back on flow resistance.
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