Practical Applications of Pipette Tips

Molecular biology is a complex and sophisticated field of scientific and biological research, so it is considered a bit funny that so much of said field depends upon a simple thing such as pipette tips. But it does. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, parts of the field of molecular biology is the actual practical/laboratory experimentation.

Pipette tips are quite simple to understand. They are disposable tips made of moulded plastic. They are shaped like elongated cones. They are then attached to a pipettor, which then allows for use. The volume of a pipette tip is measured in microliters (µL).

Uses

In a laboratory/research environment, pipette tips are essential to have. They come in many different types and also have numerous different uses. There are 4 main types of pipette tips:

  1. Non-sterile pipette tips
  2. Sterile pipette tips
  3. Filtered pipette tips
  4. Conductive filter tips

First, let us discuss the general[1] use of pipette tips. When it comes to experimentation, handling liquids and chemicals is relatively easy. Beakers, jars, and such are useful there. But those are big volumes, precise experimentation requires precise measurements of said liquids.

That is where the tips come in. They are incredibly important in these situations because they allow for the transfer of minute volumes of liquid from one place to another. Pipette tips are useful food getting extremely accurate measurements of liquid, and they are incredibly easy to use.

Non-sterile tips are the most commonly used pipette tips when it comes to labs. When considering the difference between sterilized, filter, and conductive pipettes, the variation between them is dependent on the level of sterility of the tips.

Sterile tips are good for basic lab experiments and provide a certain amount of sterility, they are free of contaminants such as ATP, RNase, Pyrogens, and DNA.

As for filter tips, they have a higher level of sterility than sterile tips. The main functionality of filter tips is to prevent the build-up or formation of aerosols. Many laboratory environments aren’t fully sterile, and aerosolized particles can be found. This pipette tip stops that from happening. And the risk of laboratory infections and cross-contamination of samples is significantly lowered too.

Aerosolized infections are a real worry within the lab/workplace. And therefore, the need to maintain safe practices and sterilization routines cannot be emphasized enough.

Last comes the conductive filter tips[2]. These are tips that are of the highest quality, and the level of sterilization is considered the best. Manufacturers such as Hamilton Filter tips[H1]  specially design them to prevent any contamination of the pipettes and the cross-contamination of samples.

Conductive filter pipette tips are carefully designed to make them immune to any aerosolized particles, and to keep them free of non-endotoxins, DNase, RNase, and any Pyrogens.

The following characteristics make conductive filter tips as sterile as they are.

  1. An electron beam purifies the pipette tip, which makes it totally disinfected and clean of any contaminants.
  2. The design of conductive filter tipskeeps them airtight. They are put through rigorous testing, and with the way they are manufactured, there remains no margin for contamination.
  3. The uniformity and efficiency in transporting liquids and chemicals during experimentation is higher than filter tips.
  4. The inner surface of the conductive filter tip is made to be as smooth as possible with zero abrasive tendencies.
  5. The filters inside the tips are made hydrophobic to avoid any absorption of chemicals. This means that a screen is now in place to stop any aerosolized particles from coming in, and there is no chance of cross-contamination of any kind.

These tips are, of course, used in clinical testing, such as gene testing, and protein testing. There are many different manufacturers of these pipette tips, such as Tecan, and Hamilton etc. Hamilton conductive filter tips are considered the industry standard to use in laboratories.

Conclusion

The medical industry has many uses for pipette tips. They are essential for the proper carrying out of research and experimentation, where the need for sterile testing is immense, such as PCR, DNA/RNA extraction, and other purification tests. Hamilton filter tips are the most recognized when it comes to pipette tips due to their high quality and efficiency.

References

[1] “Pipette Tips Play a Key Role in Lab Experiment,” 1st Sept 2021. [Online]. Available: https://marathonls.com/blog/how-pipette-tips-play-a-key-role-in-lab-experiments/. [Accessed 5th Nov 2021].
[2]“Conductive Filter Pipette Tip | Hamilton Tecan Tips Manufacturer,” [Online]. Available: https://www.hawachpipette.com/product/conductive-tips/. [Accessed 5th Nov 2021].

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