Integra Biosciences has released comprehensive guidance on how to best care for pipettes to ensure they deliver continuous and prolonged accuracy. The company offers a clear care plan for manual and electronic pipettes to enable reliable research results year after year.
Pipetting is an integral part of many routine lab processes, and precise and dependable results rely on both operator technique and equipment operating at full capacity. With ever-growing workloads and time pressures, pipette upkeep can often be overlooked, leading to excessive wear and tear and, over time, costly repairs. Careful day-to-day handling is a good starting point to ensure ongoing performance, and a pipette stand should always be used when a pipette is not in use to protect interior components, preventing liquid from entering the pipette body and stopping the pipette from being knocked off the bench. Before storing the pipette, it is essential that any tips are removed – so liquid residues don’t evaporate into the body – and, ideally, set it to the maximum volume to ease the tension on the spring.
Regular cleaning is recommended, which includes wiping the external surface with a lint-free cloth lightly soaked with 70 % ethanol – depending on its chemical compatibility – and interior cleaning. Most manufacturers recommend that multichannel pipettes are disassembled and cleaned by trained personnel but, for single channel pipettes, Integra provides a step-by-step guide on how to do this effectively in house. Decontamination is also imperative should pipettes get contaminated through over-aspiration, if placed on a bench with liquid inside the tip or if unfiltered tips are used with RNA/DNA solutions.
Even when these procedures are strictly adhered to, Integra recommends that pipettes are calibrated every six to 12 months – depending on lab throughput – by either the manufacturer, or a specialised calibration company. Calibration ensures pipettes deliver ongoing precision, and timely detection of potential problems, allowing issues to be fixed before more costly repairs or replacement becomes inevitable. By following these simple guidelines, Integra guarantees enduring performance from pipettes, so they provide reliable results for years to come.