When working with measuring and transferring a liquid, there are many options to select from. Pipettes and dispensers can come in different shapes, types and sizes. Choosing the correct liquid handling device can seem confusing. Here we will help you in making an informed decision.
Measurement of liquid
First, you want to decide is the volume you are working with small or large. In this instance, a small volume would be classed as a measure below 10 mL. a large volume can be up to 100 mL. Knowing the volume size that you aim to work with will help narrow down your selection.
The Eppendorf Easypet 3 is a suggested pipette controller to use if you are transferring larger volumes as it has a 0.1 to 100 mL dispensing range.
What do you aim to transfer your liquid in to? Decide if you are transferring your sample to plates, tubes, or bottles. This will narrow down your selection as some are much more suited for each intended use.
Next you would want to know the consistency of your liquid. Your sample may be aqueous, viscous, vary in temperature or may be volatile. This is an important factor to consider. For instance, if you are handling aqueous fluids (for example, water), you would want to consider a pipette. It is preferred to use air-cushion systems. However, if the liquid is volatile, dense or viscous, then a dispenser is appropriate. Instruments that use a positive displacement system are suggested. For more information about air-cushion systems and positive displacement systems, click here. The Eppendorf Multipette E3/E3x is a great recommendation for use with more difficult fluid types (such as volatile or viscous samples).
It is also important to know the throughput, as a method with a high throughput would benefit from a different device to one with a low throughput.
Lastly you should make sure you know how complex your method is. Methods that work with many different solutions, or work with changing measurements may benefit from a certain device compared to that of a more simple method.