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What is a pipette?

Posted on November 14, 2021 by Tip Loader 
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Pipettes and micropipettes are being employed to quantify and distribute fluid volumes accurately. Pipettes are employed to quantify tiny quantities beginning at 1 millimeter, while micropipettes are intended to quantify meager amounts of fluid, often in microliters.

What is a micropipette?

The micropipette operates by pushing air from the pipette tip and drawing fluid into the ensuing suction. Pipettes and micropipettes are extremely important instruments in microbiological laboratories, healthcare laboratories, and environmental studies for various educational and research activities.

Principle of micropipette:

All micropipettes, different brands, operate on a similar premise. When the plunger is squeezed with the finger, the fluid is pulled into the detachable silicone tip. The fluid is delivered whenever the plunger is pushed again. The use of air dislocation accomplishes this job. When the plunger is pressed, the inner piston slides to two separate locations. The initial halt is for loading the micropipette tip, and the latter halt is for distributing the tip's contents. The inner piston disperses the amount of air depicted on the electronic display by pushing the plunger to the initial halt.

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Pipette tips rack

What are the parts of a pipette?

There are several varieties of micropipettes on the marketplace. Even though the appearance of such micropipettes differs, the underlying components among all micropipettes remain similar. It is critical to recognize the components of the micropipette. The plunger, volume adjustment dial, volume display window, pipette barrel, tip ejector, and shaft are the main components of a micropipette.

The detail of these part is following:

  • Plunger:

A plunger is the highest portion of a micropipette utilized to evacuate and collect the required volume of fluid towards the micro pipette tips. Plunger performs two functions.

  1. 1. Volume control:

To change the volume level, turn the plunger clockwise or anticlockwise. A clear clicking tone at each level adjustment guarantees that the volume is perfectly set and avoids in-advertent volume changes.

  1. 2. Aspiration and distribution of liquids:

To aspirate or distribute fluid, raise and compress the plunger.

  • Tip ejector:

The micropipette's inner part is not in direct contact with the sample/liquid. Instead, the fluid is drawn into and dispensed through a micropipette using a reusable pipette tip. Micropipettes are equipped with a tip ejection device to enable tips' secure, easy, and rapid ejection. By pushing the tip ejector button, the tips may be easily separated off the micropipette.

  • Volume adjustment dial

A disc at the center of the micropipette is movable to reduce and raise the predetermined volume. The volume ingestion necessary is guaranteed by altering the amount using volume adjustment.

It is critical to know the min and max settings for a micropipette. Excessive turning of the black volume dial in any way might harm or ruin the micropipette.

Although the dial numbers just on various types of micropipettes appear to be the same, keep in mind that they might discharge varying volumes of liquid. A value of 152 on a P2 will discharge 1.52 L of liquid, whereas a value of 152 on a P200 will discharge 152 L. (Elkins, 2013)Many micropipettes will have tenths and hundredths of a microliter written in red on the pipette's core.

  • Volume display window:

The volume window displays the updated level. Only within the spectrum of that pipette, several fluid quantities could be adjusted. A separate micropipette enables a varied capacity limit to be evaluated.

A tiny horizontal window containing three numbers is located on the core of the micropipette. Whenever the digits are viewed from top to bottom, they indicate how amount capacity the micropipette is now set at. To alter the numbers, carefully spin the black dial or plunger. The figures will subsequently change. But few plungers can be adjusted for volume; check the company's site prior to attempting to rotate the plunger.

  • Pipette barrel:

A pipette barrel is a tube that contains air and houses the pipette tip. Pressing the plunger pushes an amount of air out from the cylinder, and withdrawing the plunger allows the air to return to the barrel. The plunger has two stops that are employed differently for filling up fluid in forward and backward pipetting.

  • Tip ejector:

The inner part of the micropipette is not even in complete contact with the specimen. Instead, a temporary pipette tip is utilized for pulling fluid into it and discharging it through a micropipette. The tips may be readily separated off the micropipette by pushing its tip ejector lever.

  • Shaft:

Each pipette has a level indication, a shaft when loading the pipette tip, a volume control dial, a tip extractor lever for detaching the tip, and a three-position plunger for loading and expunging the fluid. To transport fluids, use a depressible plunger.

How to use micropipette?

Every micropipette probably costs $200, which is covered by the technology charge. It is critical to treat such pipettors with attention to maintain them working correctly. Kindly use these guidelines to avoid damaging the micropipettes.

  1. Never alter the level further than the micropipettes range. No micropipette must be set to less than zero l. The P20 should not be set higher than 20, the P200 higher than 200 ul, and the P1000 higher than 1ml.
  2. Never twist the volume control dial. If the knob becomes difficult to adjust, it is likely that you have exceeded the pipette's limitations or that the pipette is destroyed. Please notify the teacher or TA of the situation.
  3. Avoid dropping pipettes.
  4. While handling the pipettes, constantly employ a smooth motion. This will allow you to take more exact readings while also preventing pipettes from breaking. There will not be any "bolting" sounds.
  5. Maintain pipettes straight at all times. When not being used, place the micropipettes on the bench's attached shelf. Avoid leaving a pipette lying on the table.
  6. Use the correct size pipette for the volume you're sampling.
  7. Properly throw away tips in the proper garbage container. Don't leave a tip in a tumbler.

Summary:

For the proper functioning of pipettes, it is necessary to maintain the pipettes' parts carefully. Always see the manual if something is confusing. Volume adjustment dial and other parts of the pipettes should be in proper alignment.

References:

Anatomy of a Micropipette. (n.d.). 200.

Elkins, K. M. (2013). Pipetting. Forensic DNA Biology, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-394585-3.00001-8

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