Pipette Calibration- Key to Accurate Results and Successful Lab Experiments
Pipettes and other liquid-handling instruments are commonly used equipment in most laboratories.
16:05 14 March 2019
It goes without saying that these liquid handling and pipetting instruments should be well calibrated for highly accurate and precise results.
Yes, a measurement that is off by a small margin makes a huge difference. Inaccurate pipettes may give room for small inaccuracies and skew results, thereby hampering your chances of conducting experiments successfully and hurting your business heavily.
But why does the performance of pipettes vary over time?
Pipettes, which are high-precision instruments, have a number of different moving parts that may fail owing to incorrect usage or constant use. In fact, excessive usage has been shown to cause mechanical failures in pipettes which affects the quality of lab results, making the integrity of the data highly questionable.
For instance, when a pipette doesn’t perform as per specifications, it could be due to one or more of the following: the seals and o-rings might be leaky, the nose cone of the shaft might be damaged, and the pistons might have become rusty and contaminated.
Think about it. When was the last you calibrated your pipette? The longer the time since last calibration the higher the odds of skewed data. If you’re starting to get a little concerned whether the integrity of your data has been compromised, it would be a good idea to evaluate the performance of each of your pipettes on a timely basis.
And that brings us to this question: how often should one calibrate?
Calibration frequency depends, upon a number of factors that include accuracy, precision, and how often it gets used. Some labs get by with a thorough performance evaluation every quarter or month, while some labs need to verify their pipettes performance daily. In certain instances, companies calibrate and perform routine service of their their pipettes on a daily basis to ensure consistency in results, while adhering to the stipulated regulations and following the relevant SOPs. So, it varies from one lab to another, and one business to the other.
But most businesses find it beneficial to adopt a hybrid solution when it comes to calibrating their pipettes. They partner with a professional pipette calibration service provider when needing full calibration, and perform simple in-house checks frequently to make sure the quality of their ongoing lab operations isn’t affected much.
The type of pipettes a lab has is another factor determining whether it needs a professional service. Standard pipettes are easy to service and calibrate, but, on the other hand, electronic pipettes containing PCBs and onboard logic require special equipment and setup to calibrate. Remember, professional service providers have a dedicated team of technicians with years of experience under their belt, and use special equipment to provide user-friendly and portable calibration solutions along with routine service checks in a fast manner.
Whether you opt for a professional service or do it in-house, working with a calibrated pipette could make or break the outcome of your lab experiments. Not only can a well-calibrated pipette improve your efficiency, but it also ensures that you get the right results that are accurate and reproducible.
If you’re looking for a service provider that can give you true calibration with dedicated equipment and personnel, starting with this website might be a good idea. Atlantic scale provides repair services and preventive maintenance services for different types of pipettes, and also offer testing plans if that’s what you’re looking for.