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Pipettes are small plastic or glass tubes that are also called chemical droppers. These small tubes are used to pour a perfectly measured amount of solution or chemical from one jar to another while doing experiments in the laboratory. Let's discuss glass pipettes and their structure and functions in detail.

Is Pipette Glassware?

Not all the pipettes are glassware since some of them are made up of plastic and composite material as well. However, the glass pipette which is made up solely of glass falls under the category of laboratory glassware items. If you don't know, laboratory glassware items refer to all the equipment that is used in the laboratory to conduct experiments of different chemical reactions and are made up of glass.

How does a glass pipette work?

Pipette glass equipment works on creating a partial vacuum inside the solution holder. To draw the liquid from one container to the pipette chamber, a vacuum is established and maintained to uphold the liquid. However, as soon as this vacuum is released, the liquid dispenses out of the liquid holding chamber into another container.

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How to use a Glass Pipette?

To use the pipette glass equipment, you need to follow the given steps

  1. First of all, select the perfect volume pipette based on the number of liquids (in units) you want to transfer.
  2. Hold the pipette in your hand comfortably and position your thumb on its upper end or plunger.
  3. Dip the bottom end of your pipette into the container of liquid and draw the liquid up via a pipette pump.
  4. Remove the bottom end of the pipette from the container and move it to the second container (to which you want to transfer the liquid).
  5. Release or press the relevant button of the pipette pump to do the liquid out at the dosing point.
  6. Check the markings or graduations made at the outer side of the pipette to check the amount of liquid poured.

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How to Read a Glass Pipette?

Different types of calibration pipettes come with different reading rules. For example, a micropipette can measure a volume of 0.1-1000 microliters. In such micropipettes, 0.0001 microliters are equal to 1 milliliter. Other measurement graduations made on pipette are 10ml, 5ml, and 1ml in 1/10.

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How to Calibrate Glass Pipette?

To make it possible for the user to measure more than one or two volumes, a calibrating pipette is calibrated priorly with many graduation lines or markings (in a series). However, we cannot be sure that all the graduations are authentic. Since a slight mistake in measuring liquid may ruin the entire experiment, it's advised to calibrate pipettes by following the given steps

  • Get distilled water in a beaker and leave it out for ten to fifteen minutes so it attains room temperature.
  • Get a thermometer and measure the water temperature. Then note it down.
  • Put a clean and empty beaker on balance and note its weight down.
  • Make sure your pipettes are unclogged, clean, and ready to use. Then, fill in your pipette with 1 ml distilled water, without making any air bubbles.
  • Does this distill water to the beaker (on balance) and measure its weight again. Note it and repeat the process four to five times.
  • Calculate the total volume of distilled water dosed by the pipette using the formula V = W*Z. Here, Z is the conversion factor and W is the weight of water. Do it manually or either via software.
  • Calculate the results average and insert the value of the average weight of distilled water (W) into the above-mentioned equation.
  • Measure your pipette accuracy using the software and record the results. If the result comes out wrong every time, your pipette is not calibrated. On the other hand, if the result comes out the same and accurately, you have an appropriately calibrated pipette.

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Why are Glass Pipettes more Accurate?

Glass pipettes, also known as volumetric pipettes are more accurate because they come with highly calibrated graduation lines. The method of using them is also straightforward and you can measure the most accurate volume using them. The long necks of these glass pipettes reduce the risk of measurement errors.

Volumetric pipettes are also considered more accurate because the graduation lines marked on their sides are present in a series. Most importantly, their slender designs make it much easier to read the results more precisely.

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How to Clean Glass Pipettes?

To clean the glass pipette, get a thin and slender brush and a warm soapy water solution. Scrub the insides thoroughly, waste the soapy water and rinse the pipette again with the tap water.

How to Sterilize Glass Pipettes?

If you want to sterilizing a glass pipette, first you have to place a cotton plug at the bottom or south side of the pipette. Next, wrap the volumetric pipette in aluminum foil so its sterility remains preserved until you use it. After this, place the pipette into an oven and increase its temperature to 170°C and let the pipette stay inside the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn the oven off and let it cool slowly.

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How to Dispose of Glass Pipettes?

If your td pipette is not contaminated with infectious or biological material, you can dispose of it just like broken glassware. On the other hand, if the pipette is contaminated, throw it in the special biohazard container. The trash bag to which you have disposed of your pipette should be tied off firmly.

How to Autoclave Glass Pipettes?

To autoclave or steam sterilize a glass pipette, you have to place it into a metal container. Around this metal container, wrap the autoclave tape and place it inside the autoclaving chamber. Remember that you should always autoclave the pipette as per the manufacturer's instructions. Generally, placing a pipette in a chamber for twenty minutes at 121°C temperature is enough to sterilize it.

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How to Dry Glass Pipettes?

The simplest and easiest method of drying a pipette is to tip it inversely over a towel. However, if you have advanced equipment, you can also use HEPA filtered drying method wherein hot air is passed through the entire glass pipette to dry it completely.

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