The Differences Between Robotic Tips, Pipette Tips, and Serological Pipets
Pipettes are one of the most basic and most important pieces of equipment in a lab. Did you know that the wrong pipette tip can cause up to a 50% error within lab results? Using the wrong tip not only leads to inaccurate results but also contamination and improper aspiration due to a poor seal.
Here we will take you through the differences between robotic tips, pipette tips, and serological pipets so that you will know which tips are right for what you need to accomplish.
What Are Pipettes?
Pipettes are tools used in lab and hospital settings. The primary function of a pipette is to carry and measure volumes of liquids. This allows scientists and lab technicians to safely transfer liquids. Pipettes allow individuals to measure liquids in a controlled and standardized way, without putting the user at risk to exposure. Pipettes also minimizes errors such as volume loss within a sample. Most tips utilize hydrophobic materials that ensures that all liquid transfer out of the pipette. Low retention is important when maintaining a specific volume for a test.
Pipettes range from simple droppers to finely calibrated machines that can take up tiny amounts of samples. This means that there is a vast range of pipette tip sizes to handle just about any volume needed, which makes pipettes a versatile tool in the lab. Pipets are slightly different from pipettes. They are long glass or plastic tubes that require a pipe-aid to create the suction force to take up volumes of liquids. Although these two tools differ slightly, both are equally important.
Different Uses of Pipettes
There is a broad range of situations that pipettes can be used for, which require different types of pipette tips. Usually, pipettes are used in tests such as cell cultures, working with DNA and RNA samples, or when sterility is a high priority. Pipette tips come with different features such as long, short, or wide opening tips. These attributes allow the handler to reach the bottom of a long test tube, allow for easier manoeuvring, as well as careful handling of fragile cells. The body of the pipette draws up controlled amounts of liquid through vacuum suction. These liquids stay in the tip portion of the pipette which is disposable.
Filtered and Unfiltered Pipette Tips
Filtered pipette tips are disposable. They’re made from high-quality plastic that allows smooth transfer of liquids. These tips prevent contamination, as well as keep the liquids from aspirating into the barrel. Filtered tips are also good for training new lab members. The filter is at the back of the tip where it connects to the pipette. It maintains a line of defence between the substance and the pipette by keeping the liquid behind the filter. Unfiltered tips have no barrier to prevent contamination. Tips like these excel in situations that are at lower risk for creating aerosols into the lower part of the pipette. You shouldn’t use unfiltered tips as a training device and only use with well-controlled samples that aren’t at risk for aerosolization.
Robotic pipette tips are used in situations where the handling process of a liquid is automated. Robotic tips are generally made of plastic and come in a cartridge with tips from sets of 96 up to sets of 384 tips, depending on your needs. Robotic pipette tips are usually made for nano or microliter volumes, with a high number of samples used. These tips come in either filtered or unfiltered tips, making them versatile for testing situations that require a high number of samples.
Robotic tips are used when there is a repetitive need for liquids at measured volumes, making hand pipetting tedious and impractical. By delegating the robotic module to take on the time-consuming task of pipetting liquids, robotic pipetting can save time and money within a lab.
Serological pipets are one of the most versatile pipets and have many uses within the lab. They can be used to transfer liquids, mix solutions, and layer reagents with different densities. Serological pipets can come in disposable plastic and glass, as well as autoclavable glass. Being able to sterilize the pipets can help reduce reoccurring costs within the lab, especially if the test doesn’t need to be free of all contaminants. Serological pipets usually come with gradation marks on the sides for accurate measurements and come in a range of sizes, usually 1mL up to 100 mL. These pipets are made from materials that will hold sensitive samples neutrally, such as cells, bacteria, and other biological substances that may be sensitive to chemical interactions.
Choosing the Right Tips Help Reduce Errors
When looking for the right pipette tips for your needs, you should first decide how large you need the tips to be. Whether you need reusable or disposable tips will help you decide what material to go with. You should make sure that the tips you have are compatible with the pipettes in your lab so that a close seal can be made. This will ensure that there is complete vacuum suction for the most accurate measurements.
Ensuring that there is proper training within the lab can greatly reduce errors and create more consistent results. Proper preparation of the pipet, pressure techniques, angles of suction, and taking your time can help lead to higher quality results.
Find the Right Pipette Tips for Whatever You Need!
Remember, there are many different options when it comes to choosing pipette tips. Pipettes are an integral part of the experimentation and testing process, one that any lab can’t do without.