How INTEGRA’s electronic micropipettes make your lab life much better [Video tutorials]
Generic pipette tips tend to loosen over time when pipetting, which can cause them to leak or fall off and lead to inaccurate results. Users often hammer the tips on to reduce this risk, resulting in high loading and ejection forces that increase the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).
That’s not the case with INTEGRA pipettes and GripTips! GripTips are designed to effortlessly attach and eject from the pipette, which means they never leak or fall off, and are perfectly fitted every time. This combination of our micropipettes and GripTips forms the perfect system, for all your pipetting needs.
Plunger movement when using manual pipettes is dependent on the user, leading to variation in results.
Pipet mode is designed to help you precisely and accurately aspirate and dispense the exact same volume of liquid, in the same way, every time. This helps to improve the consistency of activities such as staining or aliquoting cells. Performing these tasks with electronic micropipettes also reduces the thumb movement required, minimizing the risk of RSIs.
Repeat dispense mode
Aliquoting large volumes of liquid into multiple containers or labware formats is a common laboratory task. It requires repetitive aspiration and dispensing – which can lead to fatigue and RSIs – and careful concentration, to avoid missing or duplicating a transfer.
Repeat dispense mode – or multi-dispensing – takes much of the strain out of these tasks and allows you to dispense multiple aliquots of the same volume without refilling the tips after each action. This dramatically reduces the number of pipetting steps, as you can perform several dispenses with a single aspiration. Repeat dispense is perfect for activities where your workflow requires precise aliquoting, such as adding buffers or PCR master mixes to 96 or 384 well plates, or medium to cell cultures.
Reverse pipetting mode
Pipetting of volatile or viscous solutions can be greatly improved by using a reverse pipetting technique. While this can be performed with manual pipettes, the need to precisely control pipetting speeds makes it difficult to achieve consistent results.
In reverse pipetting mode, slightly more than the desired volume of liquid is aspirated, meaning that a small excess stays in the tip after dispensing. This can improve your pipetting reproducibility for non-aqueous solutions, by minimizing the influence of effects such as evaporation in the tip. In addition, it helps to avoid air bubbles forming in the sample after pipetting, as is no ‘blow-out’ to fully evacuate the tip. You can also set the aspiration/dispense speed to fast or slow, for volatile or viscous solutions respectively, increasing pipetting precision for solutions like ethanol, DMSO or glycerine.
Pipet/Mix (mixing) mode
Manual mixing requires highly repetitive movement of the plunger, potentially resulting in fatigue and RSIs, as well as variations due to inconsistent mixing.
Mixing mode enables the aspiration of a specific amount of liquid followed by a user-defined mixing step. This program is ideal for increasing your reproducibility and preventing RSIs, as it minimizes manual plunger use during operation. Variable speed control enables efficient mixing for a range of workflows, from gentle mixing of cells or beads to vigorous blending of two aqueous liquids.
Manual pipet mode
Determining the residual volume of sample or reagent in a vessel is difficult to achieve using gravimetric approaches.
Manual pipet mode enables you to manually control aspiration up to the set volume, with a real time readout on the display, making it easy to determine how much liquid is in a container or microplate well. This mode is also ideal for situations where delicate pipetting is required, such as supernatant collection during bead-based experiments.
Repetitive manual pipetting often leads to human error, as well as operator-to-operator variability. Combined with inconsistencies in the way different procedures and steps are performed by each researcher, this reduces the overall reproducibility and reliability of results.
Custom programs provide full flexibility to write and run your own protocols. Each INTEGRA electronic micropipette allows you to create and store of up to 40 multi-step pipetting protocols, ensuring the same process is followed by every user for consistent performance. You can even create complete workflows – including pipetting volumes and speeds, as well as mixing and incubation timing steps – to provide you with built-in SOPs for even advanced multi-step pipetting applications, increasing reproducibility between different operators.
VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing
The need to transfer liquids between different labware formats is common in many experimental workflows. As the spacing between these formats varies, it is impossible to use a standard multichannel pipette with fixed tip spacing when, for example, pipetting from centrifuge tubes to microplates. Many labs therefore rely on single channel pipettes, which is time consuming, increases the risk of RSIs, and has a high chance of leading to pipetting errors.
The VOYAGER is designed to overcome these issues by enabling you to electronically adjust tip spacing one-handed, at the touch of a button. This makes it ideal for applications such as gel loading or transferring biological samples – for example, from tubes to plates or from 96 to 384 well plates – and much more.
Sample dilute/Mix mode
Pipetting a liquid with a diluent followed by a mixing step is a common technique used in many application fields. When mixing various reagents – especially precious samples – accuracy is incredibly important to avoid inaccurate results.
Sample dilute/mix mode allows researchers to add, dilute and mix samples in a single pipetting operation: diluent is aspirated first, followed by the air gap, and then the sample. This ensures effective mixing and flushing of the concentrated sample from the tip, saving time while improving the accuracy and reproducibility of results.
Serial dilution mode
Serial dilutions are very common workflows in a lab, for example to measure turbidity, cell numbers or reaction speeds at different concentrations. Due to the multiple steps needed and the precision required to dilute samples, this step is often prone to error, leading to wrong results.
The serial dilution mode in the VIAFLO/VOYAGER pipettes allow the aspiration of a transfer volume followed by a mix. To ensure that the correct samples are being diluted, the plates row and number of mix cycles are tracked on the display.
Multi aspirate mode
Electronic pipettes are typically used to pipette into microtiter plates, but with the multi aspirate mode (sometimes referred to as pooling), a known amount of liquid can be aspirated back into the pipette tip from a plate.
This mode is especially useful when working with multichannel pipettes and multiple samples, when supernatant collection is necessary and the amount of liquid to be aspirated is a known volume.
If any of the everyday challenges described here sound familiar, why not learn more about the benefits of electronic pipettes, and see how we can make your lab life easier.
Further reading: The complete guide to micropipettes