A micropipette is one of the apparatus you always find in a laboratory. It plays a crucial role when you want to transfer measurable amounts of solutions from one container to another. You can as well use micropipette at your home for the same purpose. There are very useful, and you should always have them in your possession. No matter the brand, micropipette comes in three sizes; the p20, p200, and p1000. They all work the same way only that there are designed to hold different capacities of liquid. Using a micropipette is well outlined in this article.

  1. Items You Need

In order for you to learn how to use micropipette, you should have the following materials to learn the process.

  • A pipette
  • A container with the solution you wish to pipette
  • Gloves (if the solution you holding is hazardous)
  • A clean working space
  • An empty container where the solution is transferred to
  1. Set up the volume

You must be aware of the exact volume of the solution you would like to transfer. Take your micropipette and locate the small window on your pipette that has three numbers on it. Look out whether your pipette has a lock and unlock switch. In order to undertake this exercise, ensure you switch to the unlock position. Then, turn the plunger on the clockwise or counterclockwise direction to set the volume.

While setting the volume, it is essential to pay attention to the size of the pipette. This is because pipettes are specially designed. In that, they have an absolute limit on the amount of liquid it can hold. If you exceed this amount, there are high chances that your pipette may break up.  That’s not your goal. Your goal is to transfer precise amounts of a solution from one container to another.

  1. Insert the Pipette Tip

It must seem so obvious but never aspirate the liquid to the pipette when the tip is not attached. Doing so affects the accuracy of the solution you aspirate and damage the pipette. This means you will have to dig deeper into your pocket to have it repaired. Is that what you want? Definitely not. Avoid all instances that cause a negative ending. Use the pipette to serve its sole purpose.

First of all, before you place the pipette tip you must be sure that you are inserting the right size. Open the tip box and put the pipette end into one of the tip. Be sure that it perfectly fits the end of the pipette. Press the pipette down gently but firmly to ensure the tip fits on your micropipette. The moment you remove the micropipette from the tip box, it should come out together tip. After that, close the tip box to avoid any instances of contamination.

  1. Depressing and Withdrawing the Solution

Now prepare yourself, the micropipette is ready to perform the magic. If you are dealing with acid or any other potentially hazardous solution wear hand gloves. Depress the plunger until the first stop. Be cautious that you don’t go beyond the first stop.

It is always recommended that you depress the plunger before you place the micropipette into the solution. This deters the introduction of bubbles or air that may otherwise contaminate the solution. Always observe this rule. Accuracy and doing it right are the cornerstones of using a pipette.

After depressing the plunger, head to the container with the solution, you seek to transfer. Place the tip of the pipette to the solution. Avoid touching the sides of the container with the tip of the pipette. Then slowly release the plunger, and the liquid pulled into the tip until the set volume is achieved.

After you are through, remove the tip from the solution and close the container. In case you find out there are bubbles at the tip, the best thing to carry the procedure once again.

  1. Transferring the solution to the new container

Slowly place the tip of the pipette to the new container where you seek to transfer the solution. Ensure that the tip of the pipette does not touch the sides of the container. This reduces the chances of contamination. In a slow-motion, push the plunger down to empty all the solution from the pipette. Once you hit the first stop, second stop to make sure that all the solution has been emptied. Once through, remove the pipette from the container and close it.

  1. Remove the tip

You have completed the crucial part of learning how to use pipette in transferring solution. But there is an integral part remaining. You have to remove the tip you inserted at the end of the pipette. Removing the tip is quite easy and straightforward. Press down the tip ejector button. It is located next to the plunger. It is always highly recommended that you throw the tip to the dustbin.

Let the micropipette be over a waste bin as you do press the ejector button. When you press the ejector button, the metal or plastic arm will move down, thereby forcing the tip off the pipette. Do not use the same tip to transfer two different solutions. This is because you may end up contaminating both solutions. Once done, you can remove your gloves and give yourself a pat at the back. The great world of pipetting awaits you with great admiration.

Tip: Always pre-wet the tip 2-3 times before you carry out the pipetting process. By so doing, you increase the humidity content of the pipette, thereby reducing the chances of solution evaporating.  It is always good to read the instructional guide presented to you by the manufacturer.

How do you use a pipette step by step?

What is a micropipette and what is it used for?

A micropipette is a common yet an essential laboratory instrument used to accurately and precisely transfer volumes of liquid in the microliter range.

How do you measure the volume of a micropipette?

At what volume is this micropipette set at?

A micropipette can come in one of many standard sizes, and the most common can measure out a volume between 0.1 microliters and 1000 microliters. This is 0.0001 milliliters to 1 milliliter. Just as 1000 milliliters is equal to 1 liter, 1000 microliters is equal to 1 milliliter.

What are the four micropipette types and its volume range?

SIZE Useful Range Max Volume
Gilson-style P1000; Finnpipette 100-1000 ul ~200-1000 ul 1000 ul
Gilson-style P200; Finnpipette II 20 -200 ul 20-200 ul 200 ul
Gilson-style P100 10-100 ul 100 ul
Gilson-style P20; Finnpipette II 2 -20 ul ~0.5-20 ul; 2 – 20 ul 20 ul

Which micropipette is most accurate?

How do I read a P200 micropipette?

Pipetting is most accurate when the pipette is held vertically. Keep the angle less than 20° from vertical for best results.

How do you tip a micropipette?

Numbers on the micropipette (typically black-black-red) are read as XX. X µl. The change in color indicates the position of the decimal point. P200: Maximum volume 200 µl.

Why are there two stops on a micropipette?

When using a micropipette what will happen if you push to the second stop to fill it?

The first stop is used to fill the micropipette tip, and the second stop is used to dispense the contents of the tip. As the operator depresses the plunger to the first stop, an internal piston displaces a volume of air equal to the volume shown on the volume indicator dial.

Why should you avoid touching the micropipette tips?

My PI told me to not push past the first stop when using the same pipette tip multiple times. He says that pushing to the second stop messes up the vacuum and causes you to draw in more liquid the next time you use it. If you don’t change tips, it’s better to leave a little liquid in the tip.

Why should you always use a disposable tip on a micropipette?

2. Why should you avoid touching the micropipette tips? – We should avoid touching the micropipette tips because it may causes contamination. Besides, if we handle the tips, the heat transferred from our hands to the tips can affect deliver volumes.

What are three important precautions in micropipette use?

On many micropipettes, the tip is disposable. This allows for the micropipette to be used multiple times in succession without needing to clean and dry it each time.

Why are bubbles bad in PCR?

Careful pipetting is crucial in obtaining accurate test results when performing any ELISA test. Sometimes air, resulting in bubbles, can be drawn into the pipette or dispensed into the wells. If this happens, bubbles can influence optical density values and results.