The pipette is an instrument used by medical personnel, researchers, and scientists in the laboratory. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent contamination during the pipetting process to obtain reliable results. Thus, it is necessary to understand how to identify potential sources of contamination that can affect the accuracy and quality of the results.
To avoid contamination in the laboratory environment, one of the initial steps you should follow is to use personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly. PPE is recommended for all types of lab experiments. The most commonly used ones include gloves, safety goggles, protective hoods, face masks, and protective shoes.
The laboratory is a good place for microorganisms as many different products and objects pass through every day. When dust accumulates on the workbench, the samples handled during the pipetting process are likely to be interfered with. Therefore, it is essential to regularly clean these surfaces. Depending on the routine procedures performed there, different cleaning agents such as water, sterilizing soap, 70% alcohol, and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) are commonly used to clean the laboratory workbench.
You may find that many lab activities result in solid or liquid particles suspended in gas or aerosol form. This is particularly the case when using exhaust pipettes. These aerosols have been identified as the primary contributors to pipetting contamination. For example, when using non-filtered tips, they can transfer to the universal pipette, leading to subsequent sample contamination.
This occurs when the sample or its aerosol particles enter the body of the micropipette during the pipetting process. Therefore, you should follow certain steps to minimize this contamination risk:
Always keep the universal pipette upright and store it in an upright position during the procedure. This prevents liquid leakage and contamination of the equipment.
Immediately eject the nozzle after use to avoid aerosol entry.
Gradually release the button on the universal pipette to avoid aerosol generation and sample overflow inside the device.
You can easily clean some parts of the universal pipette or only clean the parts that have been contaminated. Improper use of the universal pipette could occur. Remember: you must not disinfect the filter. However, it is recommended to use sterile products. After sterilization, the universal pipette or sterilized components should be dried and cooled to room temperature. Only twist the micropipette back after it has fully cooled as the heated plastic components are prone to stretching or damage.