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Accuracy Matters

What makes a good pipette purchase?

At TTE Laboratories, we think about that all the time. In our view, a good solid liquid measurement tool has these specific characteristics:

Test your pipetting knowledge!

How much do you know about today's mechanical pipettes? Each week, in our Accuracy Matters blog, our readers can find all sorts of useful information about pipetting- best practices and tips, regulatory changes and innovative techniques. This week we're testing your knowledge!

Calibration Management Best Practices: 5 Tips for Keeping One Step Ahead of the FDA

Every year, commercial and research laboratories await the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) annual audit of their establishment’s compliance to the strict requirement guidelines. The FDA regulations for laboratory environments are based on the ISO 17025 standard, which focuses on the level of competency and consistency in lab methodology. For companies conducting laboratory research, the ISO 17025 standard applies to pipettes, dispensers, diluters, and burets.

The Evolution of Pipette Calibration Services

Part Two of a two part series

In part 1 of this blog, I described the landscape of the pipette market, and the developing pipette service market, from the 1960s through the 1990s. In the 30+ years of biology, clinical and metrology lab experience I have accumulated, I recognized two significant events during the past 14 years that have significantly impacted and shaped the pipette calibration service market today. In Part 2, I will describe these events and what impacts they had.

The Evolution of Pipette Calibration Services

Part One of a two part series

The Early Years
The mechanical pipette (micropipette) was invented in the early 1960s and has historically become one of the most significant laboratory tools over the last 50 years. It was further developed into an adjustable micropipette in 1972. At this time, there were limited service options for pipette users, as pipette manufacturers initially guided customers toward replacement pipettes. While clinical laboratories were dominated by the MLA brand; Eppendorf, Gilson Pipetman® and Finnpipette® dominated the R&D laboratories, and new brands ensued. The pipette calibration market had yet to develop, as pipettes were mostly sent back to their manufacturers for repairs, which included lengthy turnarounds. Scientists then were at a disadvantage, as pipetting accuracy and repeatability remained largely unchecked, and laboratory procedure had to accommodate wide tolerances. 

How to Choose a Pipette Calibration Service Provider

Contracting with a service provider to properly and correctly service your laboratory pipettes is an important step in the security of your laboratory liquid handling system.  Unfortunately, there are many different providers to choose from with widely varying procedures and competencies.  Even among accredited providers, quality can vary from poor to excellent, so it pays to make this decision carefully.  Be careful!  Choosing the wrong provider can cause added expense and problems. 

Here are a few things to consider when choosing who will be cleaning and calibrating your pipettes:
 

8 Tips to Improve Your Pipetting Technique

 

In a recent blog post, TTE highlights the quality, convenience, and standard compliance offered by metrology-based pipette calibration service providers. Here at TTE, our lab technicians take conscious steps to utilize the best procedural practices, making sure we are compliant with every aspect of FDA regulations and ISO 17025 and ISO 8655 standards. In order to obtain the most accurate results, we practice a number of tried and true pipetting techniques, lowering our risk of error.

The following is a list of 8 helpful tips for your lab to consider, based on our own successes. These techniques are intended to further improve your pipetting practices and ensure the most accurate test results.  Consider these best practices the next time you pipette:

1. Use consistent force when installing the pipette tip: When installing your pipette tip, it’s important that you apply the same, consistent force to ensure a proper fit each time. Do not jam the tip in place; this can damage your pipette tip and negatively affect your results.

 

The Remarkable Cost of Pipette Errors

Pipette -  The Primary Laboratory Measurement Tool

Laboratory scientists use piston-operated volumetric apparatus, otherwise commonly referred to as pipettes, every day, while developing drugs and therapies, or to provide critical diagnostic test results. The objective is clear: to improve the lives of many through good science. Pipettes are the laboratory ‘tool’ that provides scientists with an ability to measure very small volumes of liquid with a very high degree of accuracy and precision.  When pipetting performance is high, the science can advance effectively. But when pipetting performance is low, test results are affected, often leading to costly rework.

Guide to Ergonomics

Typical force and repetition rates in manual pipetting rates in manual pipetting add up to 5,000-10,000 lbs/day, enough to push over an elephant

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