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How To Test The Quality Of Laboratory Pipette Tips?

Pipette tips are common consumables in laboratories, such as Kejin tips, which seem ordinary but are often overlooked. Today I will tell you about the so-called suction head.

Our commonly used pipette tips are generally made of PP (polypropylene) because it has good thermal stability and hydrophobicity. Although everyone uses this material, the purity of the raw material still has a great impact on the quality of the final formed tip.

DiHEMDA and oleic acid amide (lubricant) are common low-cost tip additives and have been proven by scientists to have a significant inhibitory effect on some biological experiments, while BRAND only uses the highest purity and additive-free polypropylene raw materials to manufacture tips, which beyond the reach of some cheap suction heads.

Pipette tips can be divided into standard tips and low retention tips. They can be further subdivided into sterile and filter tips. Sterilized tips must be boxed to ensure sterility, while bagged tips are easy to be punctured during transportation and storage, resulting in biological contamination, and generally cannot guarantee complete sterility.

Filter tips are often used in molecular biology experiments. The filter element is generally made of PE material, which is used to block aerosols and some biomolecules, protect the pipette, and avoid contamination.

How to test the quality of laboratory pipette tips?

Testing the quality of tips used in laboratory pipettes is important to ensure accurate and precise liquid handling and to avoid any potential contamination or sample loss. Here are a few ways to test the quality of pipette tips:

1. Visual inspection: Visually inspect the tip for any defects or abnormalities, such as cracks, uneven surfaces, or other irregularities. Such imperfections lead to inconsistent pipetting and can lead to air bubbles, droplets, or other issues that affect accuracy and precision.

2. Weighing: Weigh a certain number of tips to determine their weight consistency. To do this, weigh an empty container, then a certain number of tips,  and record the weight. Calculate the average weight of individual tips and compare it to the expected weight according to the manufacturer's specifications. Any significant change in weight may indicate inconsistent tip quality.

3. Liquid delivery test: Use a calibrated balance or pipette checker to test the accuracy of the liquid delivery of the pipette tip. To do this, a certain amount of liquid (e.g. 100 µL) is pipetted into a weigh boat or another container, and the liquid is weighed to see if it is of the expected weight. Repeat the test several times with different tips to ensure consistency.

4. Contamination test: The contamination test is performed by pipetting a certain amount of sterile liquid (such as water) into a sterile container and then incubating for a period of time. If the liquid shows signs of contamination, such as cloudiness or microbial growth, this may indicate that the pipette tip is not sterile or has become contaminated.

By using one or more of these methods, you can assess the quality of pipette tips and ensure accurate and reliable liquid handling in your laboratory.

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