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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PIPETTE TIPS FOR YOUR EXPERIMENT

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PIPETTE TIPS FOR YOUR EXPERIMENT

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3) FILTER & NON-FILTER TIPS. ADVANTAGES AND INCONVENIENCES

Barrier tips, or filter tips, are designed for different conditions. If you will be pipetting something that could contaminate your pipette—for example volatile, corrosive, or viscous chemicals—then you’ll want to consider barrier tips to protect your pipette and your samples.

Filter tips prevent PCR contamination

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Aerosol Barrier tips, also called filter pipette tips, are fitted with a filter inside the proximal part of the tip. The filter protects your pipettes from aerosols and aspirating volatile or viscous solutions into the barrel, all of which can contaminate and damage the pipette. These tips usually come pre-sterilized and DNase/RNase-free. However, “barrier” is a bit of a misnomer for some of these tips. Only certain high-end tips provide a true sealing barrier. Most filters only slow the liquid from entering the pipette barrel. The filter barrier in these tips make them the choice for sensitive applications, like PCR. The barrier prevents PCR contamination by stopping sample carryover from the pipette, which will give you more robust results. Also, remember to run your PCR positive control and negative control to find sample carryover. In addition, filter tips are good ‘training wheels’ for newbies. Many times pipette contamination occurs when a new lab member accidentally aspirates liquid into the pipette itself. It is much easier, and cost effective, to throw away a tip than to send the entire pipette in for repair because liquid is in the piston.

4) LOW RETENTION TIPS

No matter which tip you choose, low-retention is a key feature. Low-retention tips do exactly as the name suggests—retain low levels of liquid. If you’ve ever looked at a standard pipette tip, you might see a little bit of liquid left after dispensing. Low-retention tips reduce this from happening because they have a hydrophobic plastic additive that keeps the liquid from sticking to the inside of the tips.

5) ERGONOMIC TIPS

Doing repetitive tasks, like pipetting, can cause damage to joints and result in repetitive stress injury (RSI). In light of this, companies have designed ergonomic tips that require lower insertion and ejection forces and, therefore, reduce the risk of RSI. That said, this feature all goes back to good fit. A tip that is specifically designed to fit your pipette properly is by definition an ergonomic tip.


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