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?
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.
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.
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.
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.