Micropipette, What is it, Price and how to choose it?

November 2, 2021

Laboratory materials are important aspects to perform a large amount of procedure and in the micropipette it could not be less. Keep in mind that this is an instrument used to relate various substances.

History of the micropipette

When we talk about micropipettes we refer to a type of instrument used for analytical chemistry procedures . That is, they are laboratory materials used for chemical tests. Which seeks to determine concentrations and various properties of the elements in a sample.

Regarding the history of this laboratory instrument, it begins in 1957 when it was invented by Heinrich Schnitger . This character was a German doctor who worked at the University of Marburg.

Thanks to his experiment, it was possible to solve various problems related to sample collection, which existed at that time. To have a better understanding of this, let’s think about how it would be to collect (pipetting) by suction through the mouth through glass capillaries.

If we know about the subject it is logical that this is a big problem for several reasons such as; the involuntary suction , cleaning material and to problems in accuracy sampling. We must bear in mind that before the Shnitge experiment. Pipetting as it is known was an activity carried out only by professionals with vast experience.

It is important to add that the micropipette that we know today is not the same as the one from 1957. As time went by, this laboratory material underwent a series of changes in its design. These changes were made both in the materials with which it was produced and the design itself to do so.

All these changes led us to obtain the digital and multichannel versions that are designed for modern needs.

What is a micropipette?

As we mentioned before, this is a laboratory instrument used for the collection of substances . Basically it is a device that allows us to suck certain amounts of liquid substances, to pass them to other containers more easily.

A good amount of substances can be stored in this instrument, which allows us to keep them clean. They are generally made with glass , although there is also the possibility of finding them made of plastics.

Parts of a laboratory micropipette

To begin with, micropipettes are made up of a syringe with a spring-loaded piston and a coaxial piston in order to achieve airtightness . They also have a removable plastic tip, which is made of polypropylene, very different from how it was at first.

On the other hand, this instrument has an adjustable stop, to be able to establish a sample volume. We can also find an air cushion to prevent the transfer of the substance to the syringe, basically it works to retain it in the plastic tip. Other characteristics of this laboratory instrument would be;

  • Screw , which keeps the spring and button attached.
  • Pipette body , which is where all the parts go together.
  • Tip , which would be the removable lower end where the substance and the disposable part are stored.
  • Wheel , which works to regulate the volume to be collected (it only presents in analogs).
  • Upper button , which is used to activate the internal spring, which activates the function of the device.
  • Ejector button , which, as its name suggests, is used to remove the tip of the pipette after being used.

What is the micropipette for?

Turning to the functions of this device, as we mentioned, it is used to collect samples in small volumes. As for the measure used, it is a μL , which would be one millionth of a liter. Thanks to this instrument, we can correctly manipulate the samples, for later use in experiments and tests.

To all this we must emphasize that the volume of substance that can be collected will depend on the model we have. In general, the most common ones admit a maximum of 20, 200 and 1000 μL, in the same way the volume that can store the tips can vary considerably.

It is important to mention that this instrument is widely used in laboratories, in subjects such as medicine, biology and analytical chemistry . The latter case being the place where it is most used, since in this case it is necessary to work with minimal samples. For example in the field of genetic research.

As an important point we must emphasize that the plastic spikes of this instrument are disposable. This is important because it allows you to maintain hygiene and makes using it much easier.

Importance of the micropipette

The importance of this instrument lies in the impact they have on subjects such as chemistry and biology. We must bear in mind that the fact that the substance can be transferred and the volume measured are important aspects in the aforementioned matters.

It is important to note that a good variety of instruments can be used for this type of procedure. These generally serve different purposes and serve a wide variety of different substances and procedures . However, the most widely used by far are micropipettes.

Its use is much greater when it comes to conducting studies in analytical chemistry, since extremely small samples need to be taken in this field . The importance of these materials lies in the ease of it.

In fact, without pipettes, this procedure is likely to be very complicated, apart from dangerous. It must be taken into account that this laboratory material allows the absorption of the substance to be safe.

How to use the micropipette?

It is important to learn how to use laboratory instruments correctly, in this particular case we have micropipettes. Which fortunately are very easy to use. So you don’t necessarily need to be an expert to manipulate it. Although we must take into account the liquid we are treating.

In the case of normal liquids , we must press the button at the top end to the first stop. Then place the pipette in the liquid to take the sample, done this we must press until the second stop to pass the sample to the other container. Finally, when you want to remove the tip, you just have to press the ejector.

In the case of being a viscous liquid , you must start by pressing the upper button until the second mole. Then suck the substance, and slowly release the button, when you are going to dispose of the solution you must press the button until the first stop.

In each of these cases it is important that the instrument is completely clean . Keep in mind that the maintenance of this is important, so that it can work properly. Which brings us to the next point, which is how to take care of it.

Micropipette Calibration

Micropipettes calibration is very important. This is basically comparing against a standard or a pattern . This means that by means of the gravimetric or photometric method it is possible to compare the real volume that the pipette doses.

Keep in mind that the display of the same can show 10 µl, but the reality the average of the pipette is 10.2 µl . When the difference is not so great, it can be approved, on the contrary when the difference is greater.

In the event that you want to calibrate this instrument, you should find a professional to do it. So the best thing to do is go to a laboratory.

To all this we must add the importance of carrying out a performance analysis to know if the device is working properly. In the event that our micropipette works as it should, we will most likely not have to calibrate it. Although if it does not work as it should, we must adjust it to do so, for this we can visit a laboratory to learn how to adjust it correctly.

How to take care of the micropipette?

As we have already mentioned, it is important that we take proper care of this instrument to maintain its proper functioning. For its maintenance it is important to use a 70% ethanol, checking the piston and cylinder annually for its operation.

On the other hand, it is important to only use the exact tip for the pipette and only measure the maximum amount allowed. Being overstretched can cause a breakdown in the micropipette.

Types of micropipettes

In the market we can find various types of micropipette. Which are differentiated by the operation it has and by the number of tips. Specifically we can say that there are four types. Although we can find different models with some variations, but the design is always the standard.

With regard to operation, micropipettes can be differentiated by being analog or digital. If it is an analog micropipette, we can find that the volume control is operated by means of the upper button. In the other cases, we find that this is done in a digital way.

The tip is another factor that serves to differentiate the different types of micropipettes out there. For example we can find the multichannel micropipette and the simple ones . When it is multichannel, as its name indicates, it can be used to take several samples. But when it comes to a simple one, only one sample can be taken at a time.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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