Liquid handling can be both qualitative and quantitative.
The right pipetting solution must be selected to meet the precision, accuracy, comfort demands while garanteeing a reliable and reproducible analytical result.
How to ensure that your liquid sampling remain accurate and precise ?
Qualitative or quantitative: how accurate may my application be ?
Quantitative accuracy and precision may be a must have for some applcations.
Transferring liquids from a container to a container B is considered as qualitative assay as soon as you skip any notion of volume from the process.
Quantitative handling may require a variety of tools: which one should you choose?
There are many liquid handling solutions. Each one is designed for a specific application. It is essential to understand deeply the handling process to provide the laboratory technician with compliant and efficient equipment.
The essential requirements are :
– Liquid type to be handled: viscous, volatile, simple (water) or more specific solutions (molecular biology, cell culture).
– Sampling protocol: single or repeated
– Accuracy impact of the sampled volume on the analytical result
– Sample size: a few microliters or several tens of milliliters
– Not forgetting the budget!
These characteristics will determine whether it is preferable to use a manual or electronic micropipette, a manual or electronic repetitive dispenser or a dispenser for example.
Electronic solutions have many benefits for the technician as well as for the volume sampled repeatability as they actually eliminate the operator effect.
For each of these instruments, ergonomics is also a key feature to limit the risk of musculoskeletal disorders – check out this blog post on laviedulabo.
When should you choose a solution with or without consumables?
To handle small volumes, in the µl range: micropipettes are the ideal solution in association with tips. This small plastic piece – with a strategic composition – is essential to allow the pipetting system (pipette/tips association) to deliver the right volume, in a repeatable way and without impact on the analytical result ( Please click on #laviedulabo for an article about the plastic value)
It is sometimes difficult to identify the right tips for our micropipette; for this, you can be backed up by a tru expert – Contact us !
To deliver many times a few µl to several ml of liquids: choosing the repetitive dispensers associated with a consumable – syringe, combitips, piston tip … – ensuring the good compatibility.
As for the pipette-tips association, the right choice of the consumable is an integral part of the analysis process management.
To handle significant quantities ranging from a few ml to a hundred ml (reagents, buffer, solvent…), it is possible to do without the consumables management by adopting the dispenser.
This equipment allows the handling of liquids with very different chemical characteristics. And this is a way to ensure the technician safety thanks to a closed circuit for pumping the liquid.
It is the solution without consumables.
Precision instrument require metrology!
All these instruments: micropipettes, repetitive distributors or dispensers are in accordance with the ISO8655 standard for volumetric piston devices.
All these equipments are delivered with a calibration certificate issued by the manufacturer. However, it is possible to perform a volumetric control according to Cofrac accreditation (or equivalent).
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