It can be hard to digest but the fact is undeniable that medical science is heavily dependent on several small instruments. These instruments or tools are so small that they can be lost easily and never found if not taken care of. One of such tools in medicine is pipette tips. Chemistry, medical sciences, and molecular biology involve a great deal of use of pipette tips. These tips are made of plastic and are disposable. The three types of tips are pre-sterilized, non-sterilized, and filtered tips.
If you are interested in knowing about filtered pipette tips then you are at the right place.
What are Filtered Pipette Tips?
While testing or research, it is required that all materials are handled carefully. If you do not take care of instruments, material, or testing subjects then big mistakes are made. These mistakes can damage the tests, or the overall procedure quite a lot. Results of such mistakes can be monetary or reputational damage or wastage of time.
Tools like filter tips have been developed for the prevention of small mistakes that can lead to major damage. They are designed as such to stop the formation of aerosols. The formation of aerosols in laboratories is a very common occurrence. If aerosols’ formation is not stopped it can cause various laboratory infections. These infections can take effect just by inhaling the aerosols. Filtered pipette tips are designed in a way to prevent aerosols and thus the infections caused by them. Another major useful attribute of pipette tips is reducing the chances of cross-contamination and protecting pipette shafts from contamination.
Where are they Used?
One of the common applications in molecular research biology is a polymerase chain reaction. In preparation for such reactions, filter pipette tips are used in abundance. Filter tips are usually used in PCR testing facilities where contamination of materials cannot be risked. They are also used in extensions of molecular biology like in bacteriology. (Hannes Bucher, 2011)
As chemistry is also an area where good care is required to handle materials, these filter tips can also be found there. They are mainly used in places such as radioactive labs. Usage of filtered pipette tips is quite common now in any research or academic facility. They are considered essential when carrying out experiments. (Hannes Bucher, 2011)
How do Filtered Pipette Tips Work?
First, it is important to know how aerosols work or travel. This is because then it will lead up to the point of how they are trapped by the filter.
How a filter would work depends on the size of the aerosol’s diameter. Aerosols can be defined as particles either of a liquid or solids suspended in a gas. Their size is measured through their radius. Like any other micro-sized particles, their shape is also assumed to be spherical. These aerosols are a major cause of contamination between experiments. Their diameters are categorized in three ways:
Small aerosols will have a diameter below 0.3 micrometers. These are extremely light particles. This results in their collision with each other and the air particles around them. Through this, the particles divert from the airflow line and contact between these particles and filter is made.
These aerosols are of size between 0.3-0.7 micrometers. Here the problem arises that these particles have more chances to pass through the filter. However, they can still be stopped because their diameter is big enough to be compared with the diameter of fibers.
Any aerosol particle which has a diameter above 0.7 micrometers can be termed as a large aerosol. Due to their high mass and thus inertia, they do not get the chance to flow in the air around fibers. They go straight into their path where they are stopped by the filter fibers.
Hope that you gained valuable knowledge regarding filter tips. It can be concluded how important they are. They are seen as a very small tool but in today’s world of accuracy, these tips have a great deal of contribution. Without their use and efficiency, it would have been quite difficult for molecular biology sciences to reach where it is now.
Hannes Bucher, K. E. ( 2011). Inhibitory effects of filter tips concerning. Hamburg, Germany: Eppendorf AG.