In order to keep your laboratory up to date, you must always validate new instruments, maintain equipment, and resolve issues. Most of the time, pipette tips are not even on your list of concerns in the laboratory. Don't forget the importance of pipette tips. Choosing the right pipette tips helps improve the accuracy of laboratory results and saves costs by retaining residual reagents and chemicals.
When you want to purchase pipette tips, you have two main choices. Do you need standard style or low-retention style tips? Universal fit pipet tips have been used for decades and can be found in laboratories around the world. They are inexpensive and familiar to researchers, but they leave a significant amount of liquid behind.
Universal low retention pipette tips allow the laboratory to remove less waste, and they are also more accurate and easier to use. Each of these options has different advantages, saving your laboratory funds and helping you obtain more accurate results.
On average, low-retention tips cost 25% more than normal tips. Standard tips might seem like an obvious choice because of their lower cost, but low-retention tips help laboratories save on the expenses of purchasing expensive calibrators and reagents. Research shows that when using standard pipette tips, up to 4 uL of liquid may remain. This may not be a big issue when conducting bulk QC, but if you are using rare or expensive reagents, this loss can have a significant impact on your budget and research.
The viscosity of your solution and reagents can cause problems with the surface tension of standard tips. This means that more samples are left behind, potentially altering the results of your laboratory work.
Low-retention pipette tips have hydrophobic surfaces and secure air gaps. This allows them to deliver the correct amount each time without the residual waste that comes with regular pipette tips. If you are working with more viscous reagents, you may want to switch from standard tips to low-retention tips for more accurate results.
Air gap technology is used in low-retention tips to reduce the surface tension of liquid during pipetting, preventing reagent leakage. Additionally, it reduces the dead volume required by standard pipettes, preventing technicians from accidentally adding dead volume during testing.
For everyday chemical laboratory work, standard pipettes may be sufficient for accurate testing. However, if you are handling small or sensitive volumes, you should use pipettes with low-retention tips.