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How can I pipette highly viscous samples?

The Multipette M4 by Eppendorf is ideal for precision pipetting and repetitive dispensing series, offering exceptional accuracy even with difficult to pipette sample types such as those that are volatile or highly viscous. Not only that, but it’s pipette tips, called Combitips, provide protection when pipetting toxic and hazardous substances and also prevent aerosol contamination as they are sealed. The Multipette M4 is a mechanical repeating (stepper) pipette working on a positive displacement principle. Unlike the more common air displacement pipette, where tips are selected for based on the volume of the pipette itself, the Multipette accepts any volume of Combitip in the range with automatic recognition of the volume of tip being used.

The Multipette M4 by Eppendorf with Combitip attached.

Features of the Multipette M4:

  • Can dispense up to 100 times with a single aspiration
  • Can dispense volumes ranging from 1 µL up to 10 mL per step
  • Automatic tip recognition – meaning you don’t have to perform calculations, just set the volume you wish to dispense per step
  • Works on the principle of positive displacement, this makes it highly accurate as dispensing is independent of density and flow characteristics of the sample. Read more on the benefits of positive displacement pipettes here.
  • Embedded RFID chip displays the service history of the pipette
  • Range of tips available from volumes 0.1mL up to 50mL
  • Ergonomic design and easy to use – ergonomically shaped operating and fill lever and the pipette fits every comfortably in your hand – ideal for when you’re working with it for extended periods

It is particularly suited to the following applications:

  • Long dispensing series, such as aliquoting or pipetting into multiwell plates
  • Pipetting of toxic or hazardous chemicals
  • Pipetting of ‘difficult’ to pipette samples, such as volatile liquids or highly viscous chemicals


The Multipette M4 utilises the Eppendorf Combitips. Combitips are colour coded for easy identification and are available in volumes ranging from 0.1ml up to 50ml. Elongated tips are available in 2.5, 5 and 10 ml sizes.  These tips are available in four different purity grades (Eppendorf Quality, Biopur, PCR Clean and Forensic DNA Grade. Read more here on application recommendations) – therefore will be sure to find the right tip suited for your application. Combitips are also compatible with the Eppendorf Electronic Multipette E3/E3x. They have a hermetically sealed piston to prevent aerosol contamination.

For highly viscous liquids (>200mPa*s), there is a special tip 10mL available called the Viscotip. This was put to the test against the standard Combitips and results found it could handle liquids up to 14,000 mPa*s whereas regular Combitips could only handle liquids up to 200 mPa*s within the allowed error limits. They also have a decreased aspiration and dispensing force with viscous liquids. You can read more here.

The Multipette M4 and Combitips can be purchased through our website. Please feel free to contact us at support@camlab.co.uk with any enquiries.