Why Is the Demand for Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipettes Continually Increasing?

Why Is the Demand for Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipettes Continually Increasing?

Why Is the Demand for Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipettes Continually Increasing?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the medical device shortage list to now include testing supplies including serological pipettes, which has greatly impacted both the healthcare and life sciences industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has, obviously, had a major impact on the global supply chain.  With increased demand for testing, the materials available worldwide dwindled. Coupled with this year’s winter storms in Texas, which is host to two of the three biggest polyethylene plants, the manufacturing of clear plastic polymer pipette tips, serological pipets, and other products slowed down dramatically. The increased demand and decreased supply are making it difficult for labs to keep pace. Researchers are facing higher prices on their laboratory supplies, with exceptionally increased wait times. This means that scientists are burning through funds faster, with delayed results. Despite the setbacks, the demand for the accuracy and precision of laboratory supplies continues increasing. Keep reading to explore the key factors in optimizing serological pipet performance.

Pipettes vs Pipet

Serological pipets are a single glass or plastic tube that serve as basic instruments for many lab applications. Serologic pipets are the tool of choice for the following tasks.
  • Moving liquid between different receptacles and containers
  • Mixing chemical solutions
  • Stacking reagents with different density composition
Pipette tips and serological pipets can only be used once to prevent cross-contamination. This means that labs can use up many cases in one day. Thus, labs need a consistent supply to keep research experiments running smoothly.

What Impacts the Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipets?

Several factors play a role in the precision and accuracy of serological pipets.  Without accuracy, the results are meaningless. Pipettes must give a reading that’s close to a nominal or true volume measured by the volume setting. Precision describes the ability to repeat the test and get the same results. The repetitive test results must fall within a set standard deviation. It’s important to record environmental and liquid variations when testing. The following factors can impact the accuracy and precision of your results.

1. Density

A liquid’s volume density (mass/volume ratio) impacts the aspiration into the tip. To test this, aspirate a small volume of a higher-than-water density and an equal amount of water. The earth’s gravity, flexibility, and amount of dead air volume affect the results.

2. Temperature

Temperature also plays a key role in altering the density of liquids. This changes the accuracy of pipetting. The temperature difference between the liquid and the delivery device greatly impacts outcomes. The dead air volume (air gap) expands between the piston and the liquid surface. This causes the amount of liquid aspirated into the tip to increase or decrease. Thus, your result’s accuracy and precision become compromised.

3. Altitude

Air pressure changes at different geographic altitudes. High altitudes lower the air pressure causing the conversion factor Z to decrease. The boiling point of some liquids can become close to room temperature at specific altitudes. This will cause a dramatic increase in evaporation loss.

MarathonLS Serological Pipets

MarathonLS offers a size range from 1 mL serological pipets to 100 mL. Each pipet has clear ascending and descending graduations marked on the side. This ensures accurate measurement when dispensing or aspirating. All MarathonLS pipets meet certification standards that guarantee that they’re RNase-free, DNAse-free, non-cytotoxic, and non-pyrogenic. They’re also latex-free and adhere to BSE/TSE standards. Every serological pipet is produced in a class 100,000 cleanroom environment. The facilities meet ISO13485 and ISO9001 requirements for quality management systems. Pipette tips are available in high-grade filtered, unfiltered, extended length, and low retention. You can also get universal-fit tips for most major pipettors. Their hydrophobic surface promotes accurate pipetting. Every item has a printed batch number to make it traceable. The graduation calibration also allows for dispensing within ±2 percent.

Choosing the Right Size Pipette

To ensure accuracy and precision, it’s key to choose the right tool for measuring each volume. Always select the smallest pipet appropriate for the job to reduce errors. When measuring 4.5 mL of liquid, a 5 ml serological pipette is more accurate than a 10 mL. If you’re working with very small volumes, you’ll want to choose a small pipet. Thus, a serological pipette of 2ml or similar size is often best. Its small diameter and precise graduations reduce errors when judging the sample’s meniscus.

Most Common Serological Pipette Sizes

The most common volumetric pipettes include the following:
  • 10 mL serological pipette
  • 25 ml serological pipette
  • 50 ml serological pipette
Scientists often use these to produce laboratory solutions from a base stock. They’re also valuable in preparing a solution for titration.

Are You Searching for a Reliable Laboratory Supply Company?

This article focused on the importance of accurate and precise serological pipettes. At MarathonLS we focus on delivering unparalleled service for all our clients. This includes the unique needs of healthcare facilities, science labs, and education institutions.

Our team promises “relentless” communication, flexibility in scheduling, and next-day guarantees.

 Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

How Pipette Tips Play a Key Role in Lab Experiments

Importance of Pipette Tips in Labs

How Pipette Tips Play a Key Role in Lab Experiments

One of the most commonly practiced methods in laboratories is liquid handling. Though it is typically hassle-free with larger quantities and the right lab supplies like beakers, volumetric flasks, graduated cylinders, etc., working with smaller or minute fluid volumes is when things can get tricky. For successful laboratory practices and experiments, there are two important factors to be considered:
  • Accurate measurements
  • Effortless use of apparatus to execute the procedures
Speaking of lab experiments like PCR, DNA isolation, or purification, pipette tips are vital and need excellent precision to handle minute fluid volumes. Again, the right pipette tips play a massive role in scientific experiments. Conversely, using faulty tools can skew results, which could have disastrous outcomes on the experiment. If your pipette tips aren’t appropriate or compatible with your pipettors, it can affect your experiment largely. Not only can it make your results inaccurate, but it also wastes time by forcing you to do the entire process over again. To help you out, here is an overview of the significance of pipettor tips and how they play a key role in lab experiments.

What are Pipette Tips? 

Pipette tips are small, disposable tips that are made of molded plastic. Shaped like cones, a scientist attaches a pipette tip to the end of a pipettor and then uses it to transfer the liquid. 
The liquid used in the pipette tip is measured in microliters (μL), or one-thousandth of a milliliter (mL). Pipette tips are important materials to have in your lab for many reasons.

Why Pipette Tips are Essential for Lab Experiments?

Despite how often they are overlooked, pipette tips are must-have items in your laboratory and here are some valid reasons why:

1. Precise and Accurate

Precision and accuracy are crucial to any lab experiment. Therefore, it is paramount that each material or chemical in the experiment is measured as carefully and specifically as possible to get the best results. That’s where pipette tips come in. Pipette tips allow scientists to measure specific amounts of liquid in their experiments. With pipette tips, you can zero in on the details and get as precise as possible in your measurements. This, in turn, allows for more accurate results.

2. Easy to Use and Learn

Pipetting is a technique that all scientists should know how to do. Even high school students learn basic pipetting skills because of how important this technique is. But despite its importance, it’s quite easy. Learning how to use pipettes and pipette tips is a useful and simple skill. With the right kind of tips for your pipettor, any novice can learn the pipetting technique.

3. Sterile

If you’re running an experiment that requires sterility, like cell culture, you need to make sure that you use pipette tips. Not only do they reduce cross-contamination, but if you use the right kind of tips, you’ll get better results. Non-sterile pipette tips are often used since not all scientific research needs to be sterile. But you can also get pre-sterilized pipette tips that don’t contain any DNA, RNase, ATP, or pyrogens to keep your experiment free of contamination. This ensures better and more accurate results.

4. Efficient

Scientists value efficiency, especially in the lab. Pipette tips allow scientists to complete scientific experiments quickly and easily. They reduce the need for more complicated, time-consuming instruments. While pipette tips are designed to be disposable, they can be reusable to increase efficiency and sustainability. This depends, though, on the quality of the tip, your cleaning method, and the nature of your experiment. For example, if your experiment needs to be kept sterile, it’s a better idea to dispose of your pipette tips rather than reuse them.

5. Diverse

No two lab experiments are the same. Each one will use different conditions, different materials, and different methods. Pipette tips have a huge advantage in this area. Pipette tips come in all different kinds and sizes, and there are tons of different pipette tip uses. So no matter what your experiment is, it’s almost a guarantee that you can find the specific kind of pipette tip that you need.

3 Types of Pipette Tips

There are different types of pipette tips that you can use, depending on your experiment or the model of pipette that you have. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common types:

1. Universal/Bulk Pipette Tips

This type of pipette tip is best for labs with smaller budgets. You can get great deals when buying bulk pipette tips. Universal pipette tips are designed to fit onto many different pipette models. Of course, you should always double-check the diameter of your pipette’s barrel to be thorough, but in general, universal pipette tips should do the job. But you do still want to make sure your pipette tips are high-quality to get good results, so do some research before you buy.

2. Filtered Pipette Tips

Filter pipette tips, also called aerosol barrier pipette tips, are designed to prevent damage from aerosols. They contain a filter in the front area of the tip to keep any harmful solutions from entering the barrel and interfering with the experiment.

3. Low Retention Pipette Tips

Low retention is a great attribute for your pipette tips to have. They retain very low amounts of liquid, ensuring that there is little to no liquid left inside the tip after dispensing. This helps keep measurements accurate. When using a standard pipette tip, there is sometimes some liquid left inside after dispensing. Low retention pipette tips don’t have this problem. They are made from a hydrophobic material, which keeps the liquid from staying inside the pipette tip.

Learn More About Pipette Tips and Other Lab Equipment

Pipette tips are an underrated laboratory tool. They are crucial materials to have in the lab and play a major role in scientific experiments. Next time you’re in the lab, make sure you pay attention to your pipette tips!

Contact us to get pipette tips or other lab equipment and services today!

Pipette Tips Shortage: How is it Hindering Biological Research?


Pipette Tips Shortage: How is it Hindering Biological Research?

Scientists use hundreds of pipette tips on any given day in their labs. In December 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced that pipette tips are on the ‘Device Shortage List,’ confirming what many scientists already knew: there was a debilitating supply chain problem in the life sciences industry.   By March 2021, nearly half of all laboratories  nationally struggled to get the essential supplies needed for testing due to the global shortage of medical supplies. Continue reading to learn why there is such a shortage of pipette tips in the medical and science industry.

What are Pipette Tips Used For?

Medical professionals use filtered pipette tips for testing and scientists use them in their important research. Using the right pipette tip is essential for gathering the right amount of liquid in the lab.   It’s important to use pipette tips with a filter when there is a higher chance of contamination. These pipette tips have a barrier of sorts to help prevent unecessary liquid from getting into the pipette barrel. Some of the other uses of pipette tips in the life sciences industry include:  
  • Working on the development of clinical trials
  • Working on new therapeutics
  • Doing basic research in university labs
  • Creating treatments and therapies for rare diseases and neurological conditions
  • Research for cancer treatments
When babies are born, they go through various tests to make sure that they are in good health. To run these screening tests, researchers use about 160 million pipettes every year. The Department of Health and Human Services has prioritized delivering the materials required for this newborn testing, yet the problem is still persistent in healthcare, reasearch, and pharmaceutical industries.

What is Causing the Shortage in Pipette Tips?

There are many causes of this shortage that can be traced across the globe. Most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for the tips, as they were used in testing. Internationally, manufacturers were left struggling to keep up.   As COVID-19 became more prevalent, people across the world were regularly getting tested, making it nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for pipettes. The U.S. Defense Production Act came about, and as a result, medical testing for the coronavius was prioritized, leaving other researchers without much hope for securing a stable supply chain.   Importing and exporting across international borders also presents a unique challenges for pipette manufacturers. Mandatory quarantines for incoming shipping containers delayed the delivery tips and other imported supplies. Additionally, less custom agents were able to work, slowing down shipments even moreso. Put simply, there aren’t enough people or resources to keep these crucial shipments moving on a tight schedule.   Due to the unprecedented winter storms in Texas, recent blackouts caused three of the largest manufacturers of medical-grade plastic lab equipment to lose electricity and shut down temporarilyy. Not only did this halt all production, but these factories were left with a large amount of damaged product. Also in Texas, there was a fire at a manufacturing plant that supplies 80% of United States’ containers for pipettes. This fire put polypropylene resin (the raw material used in plastic lab equipment) in significant demand and on backorder.   These natural disasters caused the prices of pipette tips and other research materials to skyrocket, and some consumers are now seeing surcharges doubled since before the pandemic.

How is it Hindering Biological Research?

Manufacturers are trying their hardest to keep up, but there is unfortunatly no end in sight. Many labs are left to prepare for the possiblility that they will be without any tips and no expectation of when they will arrive. As it currently stands, getting a shipment of pipettes can take months from the initial request.   Despite the shortage, biotech companies are still pressured to continue with their hardwork of development, analysis, and research. These companies are left with no option other than keeping pipette usage to a minimum, conserving as much of their stock as possible and sometimes going as far as to wash and reuse their tips. While most companies haven’t had to deal with halting their work just yet, it could eventually happen if the shortage continues.   It isn’t only the pipettes that scientists are running out of. Due to all of those factors mentioned above, they are struggling to find any plastic lab equipment, including petri dishes, tissue culture flask, and other research materials.  

Supplying the Demand

Running out of these essential items can cause your lab to put your research on hold until the manufacturers can catch up with the demand for supplies.   Contact MarathonLS today to discuss your lab equipment needs if you are worried about finding pipette tips. We are proud to offer a steady supply chain and a standing order program, alleviating the concern for stock that many lab managers are facing. We look forward to working with you.