There are many reasons a pipet tip may leak and cause contamination of your precious cell culture or research samples. But have no fear, we will show you how to fix leaky pipet tips so you can avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Before beginning any work with your cells or samples, it is important to make sure your workspace and materials are clean and free of contaminants. This includes your pipet tips. Inspect the pipet tip for any cracks, damages, or debris that may be present. If you notice anything that may cause a leak, discard the tip and select a new one.
If the pipet tip appears to be in good condition, the next step is to test it for leaks. To do this, drew up some cell culture media or water into the pipet and then held the tip upside down over a container. If you notice any drops leaking out, the tip is not usable and must be discarded.
Once you have selected a good pipet tip, it is important to make sure it is properly seated on the pipet. Common mistakes that lead to leaking are not seating the tip all the way down or not securely screwing on the collar. Be sure to seat the tip firmly on the pipet and screw on the collar until it is snug.
If you are still having difficulty with your pipet tip leaking, there are a few more things you can try. Many times, the issue is with the O-ring that helps to create a seal between the pipet tip and the pipet. Inspect the O-ring to see if it is damaged or debris is present. If so, discard the O-ring and get a new one. If the O-ring appears to be in good condition, try lubricating it with a silicone-based Grease. This will help to create a better seal and may fix the issue.
If you have tried all of these tips and your pipet tip is still leaking, it is time to consult with your supervisor or a colleague for help. There could be a bigger issue that needs to be addressed, such as a damaged pipet. Do not continue to use a leaking pipet tip as this can lead to contamination of your cells or samples and may jeopardize your research.
What are the consequences of a leaky pipet tip channel?
A leaky pipet tip channel can result in a number of consequences, the most serious of which is contamination of the sample. If the leak is not caught early, it can result in cross-contamination of different samples, which can lead to inaccurate results. The second consequence is loss of sample. If a large volume of sample is lost due to a leaky pipet tip channel, it can be difficult to replicable the results. Finally, a leaky pipet tip channel can result in increased evaporation, which can change the concentration of the sample and lead to inaccurate results.
What are the most common causes of a leaky pipet tip channel?
A leaky pipet tip channel is most often caused by misalignment of the tip on the glass barrel. To ensure proper alignment, always hold the tip firmly in place while inserting the pipet into the glass barrel. In addition, be sure to check that the o-ring and/or ledge is clean and free of debris before each use. If the o-ring and/or ledge is not clean, it will cause the tip to slip and leak. Finally, be sure to tighten the tip cone securely before each use.
How often should you replace your pipet tip channel?
The channel is the portion of the pipet tip that comes into contact with the liquid being transferred. Channels can become clogged with residue, preventing proper liquid transfer. To maintain optimal performance, it is recommended that you replace your pipet tip channel every three to six months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my pipette leaking?
There are a few reasons that your pipette could be leaking: corroded parts inside the pipette, seal issue, broken shaft, or incorrect tightening of compressor hose.
How do you seal a pipette?
Most commonly, sealing rings are used on the nozzle of a pipette to ensure an airtight seal between the pipette and its tip. This helps to minimize any leakage, thus increasing accuracy and reducing the error of your data.
How do you avoid bubbles inside your pipette tips when getting fluid?
To avoid air bubbles inside your pipette tips, aspirate at a 90 degree angle and dispense at a 45 degree angle.
How do you fix a pipette filler?
Fixing a pipette filler can be done by replacing the rubber bulb, or by fixing the release valve.
What happens if you pipette too quickly?
If you pipette too quickly, you can cause inaccuracies with viscous liquids, lead to air bubbles, or liquid contact with the pipette filter, increasing the chance of contamination. Dispensing a liquid too quickly can lead to splatter or disrupt cells on the bottom of a microplate.