Pipettes are professional implements used in biological, chemical, and medicinal settings across various educational, professional, and industrial settings. They vary in their material, accuracy, volume, calibration, and uses, but they all need to be of the highest quality to deliver the best results.

To help you figure out what type of pipette will best suit your needs, let's take a look at the various types of pipettes Biofargo Inc. produces for its worldwide clients. 

Graduated Pipettes

Here, you will find the pipette’s volume marked out in well-defined increments along the side of the tube, allowing for a high degree of precision (though slightly less than volumetric types) when measuring out solutions. Smaller pipettes can work with smaller quantities, while larger capacities are also available for more voluminous materials.

However, a vacuum or suction source will be needed to operate effectively. Blow-out (Serologically graduated) pipettes do not indicate the zero point where their conical end begins, while Drain-out (Mor Graduated) pipettes have them indicated.

Air Displacement Pipettes

These are highly accurate pipettes that will deliver measured volumes of liquid according to the user's adjustments. They are operated through piston-driven air displacement mechanisms. As onedepresses the plunger, a ceramic or metal piston sheathed within an airtight sleeve will rise, creating a vacuum that suctions up the target solution, and this can then be raised, moved, and released as needed. 

You can find these in single-channel or multi-channel form. Most scientific users are shifting away from the mechanical to the electronic versions of these to maximize accuracy and avoid the positive development of musculoskeletal discomfort or disorders that may arise in the users to constant, repeated use. 

This mechanism allows for highly accurate operations, but they require regular calibration to maintain their precision since they will be affected by changes in the environment, temperature, and the technique of its users. For these reasons, using these also call for specialized training. 

There is a variety of air displacement pipettes available to users today, including:

  • Fixed or adjustable
  • Volume handled
  • Single-channel, multi-channel, and repeater
  • Standard or locking
  • Cylindrical or conical tips
  • Electronic or manual

Positive Displacement Pipettes

 Positive displacement pipettes are close cousins to air displacement types. The main difference is that they use a disposable plastic micro syringe at their tips that comprise the movable piston and capillary. These pipettes are used in instances where contamination needs to be avoided at all costs, such as when handling DNA specimens or where highly viscous or volatile substances need to be handled in small volumes.

Transfer Pipettes

These are also referred to as Beral pipettes and are largely similar to Pasteur pipettes except for the fact that their bulbs are made out of single plastic pieces that can be used as holding chambers for the substances being manipulated.

Pasteur Pipettes

These pipettes are typically made from glass and are bulb-shaped, making them look like the traditional dropper. Named after the famous physician Louis Pasteur, these pipettes are used more in biology than chemistry to transfer solutions from one vessel to another in cases where precision is not critical. They are neither graduated nor calibrated, making them fairly inaccurate, and they are often disposed of after being used.

Other Specialized Pipettes on the Market

Even with all the options available to us when it comes to pipettes, there are specific tasks that require particular types of pipettes to accomplish, which is what these are for. Specialized pipettes include the following:

  • Van Slyke Pipette: Invented by Donald Dexter Van Slyke, these pipettes are traditionally used in medical applications such as volumetric analyses 
  • Pipetting Syringe: These devices are hand-held solutions that fill the multiple roles of graduated pipettes, burettes, and volumetric pipettes. Pipetting syringes are calibrated to the standardized ISO Grade A and are used in conjunction with thumb-operated pistons to handle viscous, volatile, and aqueous fluids; hydrocarbons; mixtures; and essential oils.
  • Ostwald-Folin Pipette: This invention of the German chemist Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald was further refined by the American chemist Otto Folin and is designed for the measurement of viscous fluids, e.g., whole blood, and is typically used in medical laboratory settings.
  • Microfluidic Pipette: This is a relatively new addition to the family of pipettes. Its main feature is the introduction of a pipette platform that can be positioned and adjusted freely. These pipettes are made out of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), a substance formed through reactive injection molding. Localized flow zones are created at the tips of these devices during their use, allowing for the continuous control of the nanoliter environment, which allows for the loading and switching of the substances being handled at lightning-fast speeds (100 milliseconds).
  • Glass Micropipette: These are used in scenarios where microscopic substances are handled in procedures such as patch clamping and microinjection. They are used with micromanipulators and are usually made of aluminosilicate, borosilicate, or quarts in various sizes.

Final Thoughts

Pipettes are highly useful instruments used in industry, medicine, chemistry, biology, and more. All these fields have in common that the accuracy of their results will be largely dependent on the accuracy and precision of the tools they use, which is why companies such as Biofargo Inc. make it a point to deliver the highest quality instruments possible. Should you be in search of any types of pipettes and biotechnical instruments, you can be sure of getting the best with us. Make your order today. You’ll be glad that you did. 

By Biofargo Inc


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