A micro pipette, also known as a micropipette or simply a pipette, is a handheld laboratory instrument used for accurately measuring and transferring small volumes of liquids. It is a fundamental tool in many scientific disciplines, including molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and chemistry.
Here are some key features and components of a micro pipette:
1. Pipette Types: Micro pipettes come in different types based on the volume range they can handle. Common types include micropipettes for volumes ranging from microliters (µL) to milliliters (mL), and macro pipettes for larger volumes up to several milliliters.
2. Volume Adjustment: Micro pipettes have a volume adjustment mechanism, typically a dial or plunger, that allows users to set the desired volume. The volume adjustment mechanism can be digital or analog, depending on the pipette model.
3. Tip Cone: At the lower end of the micro pipette, there is a tip cone where disposable pipette tips are attached. The tip cone ensures a secure fit between the pipette and the tip, preventing any leaks or air bubbles during pipetting.
4. Ejector Button: Micro pipettes have an ejector button or lever located near the top or side of the instrument. When pressed, it releases the used pipette tip, allowing for easy and hygienic tip disposal.
5. Plunger: The plunger is the central component of the micro pipette responsible for aspiration and dispensing of the liquid. When the plunger is depressed to the first stop, it creates a vacuum, drawing the liquid into the pipette. When the plunger is fully depressed to the second stop, it dispenses the liquid from the pipette.
6. Accuracy and Precision: Micro pipettes are designed to provide accurate and precise liquid measurements. The accuracy refers to how closely the delivered volume matches the set volume, while precision refers to the reproducibility of the measurements.
7. Calibration: Micro pipettes require periodic calibration to ensure accurate volume delivery. Calibration involves adjusting the pipette to match a known standard and is typically done using specialized calibration tools or services.
8. Safety Features: Some micro pipettes include additional safety features such as a filter barrier to prevent liquid from entering the pipette body, protecting internal components, and preventing potential contamination.
Proper pipetting technique, including correct tip attachment, maintaining a vertical position, and releasing the plunger smoothly, is essential to ensure accurate and consistent results while using a micro pipette.
Micro pipettes are widely used in laboratory settings for various applications, such as sample preparation, DNA/RNA manipulation, protein assays, enzyme reactions, cell culture, and many other experiments that require precise liquid handling in small volumes.