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What Are The Types Of Pipette Tips?

Posted on November 13, 2021 by Tip Loader 
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Pipette Tips are autoclavable disposable accessories for taking and distributing fluids with a pipette. A variety of labs make use of micropipettes. Pipette tips can be used in a research/diagnostic lab to distribute liquids into a well plate for PCR testing. Pipettes and pipettors employ pipette tips to expedite processing and decrease cross-contamination. They come in a range of materials and styles.

Pipette tips are of different types. These are sterile pipette tips, non sterile pipette tips, wide bore tips, short tips, low retention pipette tips, filtered pipette tips, and non-filtered pipette tips. Their variety can be overwhelming for the scientist. Let's have a look at their specifications.


Sterile pipette tips and non sterile pipette tips

Sterile tips must be used in situations where purity is critical. But, to cut costs, may you purchase non-sterile tips and sterilize them yourself? Theoretically, the answer is yes. But, you must ensure that the producer claims it to be autoclavable, and you should be mindful of the following:

  1. Inadequate quality inspection
    Producers should confirm their sterilizing procedure and conduct frequent quality inspections. On the other hand, individual laboratories seldom assess the efficacy of their autoclaving technique, which might result in compromised samples.
  2. RNase and DNase are present in autoclaved tips
    Autoclaved tips are free from microorganisms because they are sterile but rarely free from RNase and DNase. If one wishes to do delicate experiments that require these tips, utilize sterile tips from a supplier that can prove they are RNase and DNase-free.

Filtered pipette tips

Aerosols are produced within the pipette tip each moment you aspirate fluid. These aerosols can contaminate the pipette and, as a result, your following data if you do not apply filter tips - although if you replace tips in intervals.

Filter pipette tips are commonly employed in cell genetics, microbiology, and cell biology studies. A filter pipette tip can be employed throughout the test to preserve the pipette, minimize fluid backpacking, and reduce cross-contamination. Filter pipette tips, on the other hand, are more costly than universal pipette tips.

For instance, while doing PCR assays, specimens' cross-contamination by aerosols in the pipette might result in inaccurate positive results since even a tiny amount of DNA from the following experiment could be enhanced. When working in fluids that might damage the pipette, such as radio-labeled or corrosive samples, it's critical to use filter tips for safety and longevity.

Filter recommendations might be helpful while training new lab personnel. Putting in filter tips is the best payment typically on its own because you can prevent pipette contamination or harm from fluid entering the pipette's bottom base.

Long pipette tips

If you have ever endangered cross-contamination by inserting the stem of the pipette into a cylinder to hit the base with a regular tip? Many suppliers provide longer-length pipette tips ideal for labware like centrifuge tubes or deep well blocks to prevent this issue.

Short tips

There are two significant advantages to employing short tips. They aid with minuscule well targeting for starters, such as when pipetting onto a 384 or 1536 well plate with a multiplex pipette. Secondly, they increase ergonomics by enabling you to pipette nearer to the work surface, resulting in less arm stress.

Low retention pipette tips

The title shows that low retention pipette tips keep minimal fluid, resulting in more precise and accurate results while preserving expensive chemicals. They are, however, more expensive than conventional tips, so you must know when to utilize them. In multiple investigations, our in-house applied scientist discovered that both regular and low retention tips give optimum fluid recovery while pipetting water but provide significantly divergent results when handling thick or low interfacial tension liquids. As a result, low retention tips are best for pipetting very concentrated, and hence dense, samples like as:

  • PCR, cloning, sequencing, and other DNA and RNA applications
  • SDS-PAGE, protein purification, and other protein analysis methods applications

Is it true that all low retention pipette tips are identical?

In processing low retention tips, suppliers frequently coat them with silicone or use a different polypropylene mix than standard tips. Both approaches prevent aggressive or low interfacial tension fluids from extending out and 'watering' the inside wall of the tips. Still, there is one significant disadvantage: the silicone coating may rinse or seep out with the sample. To prevent liquid repellents from contaminating your samples, always use tips made of a polypropylene blend with high hydrophobic characteristics.

Wide bore pipette tips

When delicate cellular samples are forced through the narrow aperture of traditional tips, they may be damaged. Large-diameter tips should be utilized when transporting biological materials, such as delicate cell lines or other fluid substances. These tips' wider aperture reduces resistance to flow and prevents (cell) tearing.

How to select pipette tips?

When it comes to pipettes, most people are pretty careful. However, we do not even pay that much attention to them when it comes to pipette tips. In reality, the pipette tip is a critical aspect that influences the outcome of the test and the pipette's lifespan. As a result, purchasing pipette tips is also vital.

Once you've determined which pipette tip is appropriate for your application, make sure to get samples from possible suppliers before purchasing in large amounts. This will ensure that they satisfy all of your requirements, ensuring that they fit your pipettes properly. It is worthwhile to take the time to select an appropriate tip since this will not only cut you money but will also achieve the best precision.

Precision and accuracy are the first things to bear in mind when deciding which pipette tips for use. If the pipette tip doesn't match the pipette adequately, the precision of the pipette will suffer. If the pipette tube and tip do not have a good seal, the drawn-in air might leave, and the right volume of liquid is not inhaled.


Investing in high-quality, custom-fit tips may appear to be more expensive initially, but it will save you time, money, and health problems in the long term. However, whether you can use non-sterile traditional tips or require tips with qualities such as improved hydrophobicity or bigger tip anuses is a matter of personal opinion.

Chen, M., Vial, M. L., & St John, J. A. (2019). 3D-tips: User-friendly mesh barrier pipette tips for 3D-spheroid culture. Journal of Biological Engineering, 13(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13036-019-0210-3

Olmedo, P., Navas-Acien, A., Hess, C., Jarmul, S., & Rule, A. (2016). A direct method for e-cigarette aerosol sample collection. Environmental Research, 149, 151–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ENVRES.2016.05.008

Turoňová, D., Kujovská Krčmová, L., & Švec, F. (2021). Application of microextraction in pipette tips in clinical and forensic toxicology. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 143, 116404. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.TRAC.2021.116404

Wang, M., Yan, H., Yuan, Y., & Han, Y. (2015). Pipette-tip solid-phase extraction by use of a sol–gel hybrid adsorbent: a new pretreatment strategy for rapid screening of cucumbers for cyanazine and atrazine. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407(4), 1231–1239. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-014-833

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