What is the ideal tip immersion depth?

How researchers aspirate liquids can influence their results. A common mistake made during aspiration comes from the need to place the pipette tip as deep into the source vessel as possible due to a desire to avoid aspirating air. However, this can lead to issues.

The deeper the tip is submerged in a source liquid, the more problems may occur. Excess liquid, known as liquid carryover, could stick to the tip's exterior and eventually make its way to what is being dispensed, leading to skewed results and raising the risk of cross-contamination.

Carryover is not the only problem associated with aspirating too deeply; typically, the deeper the tip is submerged during aspiration, the more liquid will enter it. Therefore, users could end up with more liquid than intended.

It is recommended to only insert a tip 2-3 mm into the source liquid for aspiration. This can be simplified using the source vessel's vault for guidance. One exception to this is when aspirating extremely low volumes or about 0.2 µl. In this case, it is recommended to aspirate deeply to ensure the liquid is entering the tip.

How to use a pipette: Depth of aspiration

Video Credit: INTEGRA Biosciences

About INTEGRA Biosciences

INTEGRA provides innovative solutions for Liquid Handling and Media Preparation applications which serve the needs of their customers in research, diagnostics and quality control laboratories.

Their instruments and plastic consumables are developed and manufactured in Zizers, Switzerland and Hudson, NH USA. In order to remain close to their customers, they maintain a direct sales and support organization in North America, the UK, France and Germany, as well as a network of over 100 highly trained distribution partners worldwide.

In recent years they have focused on developing a new and technologically advanced range of handheld electronic pipettes which are simple to use and meet the ergonomic needs of their customers.

Today they are proud to offer the widest range of electronic pipettes in the market spanning a range from single channel pipettes up to 384 channel bench-top instruments.


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Last updated: Nov 15, 2022 at 6:23 AM

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