Pipette controllers or fillers are used to draw liquid into a serological pipette. There are three different types of pipette controllers, ranging from simple rubberized bulbs to the more sophisticated motorized microprocessor controlled pipette fillers. These near ubiquitous liquid handling instruments may seem banal to some, but prior to the 1970’s, pipette controllers did not exist. However, laboratories did have pipettes and the need to transfer liquid from one container to another.
Before The Pipette Controller: How did they do it?
Mouth pipetting. Yes, mouth pipetting. If you’re not familiar with the term, fear not, a brief explanation is in order. If you have used one of the three types of pipette controllers, you are aware that the bulb or motorized controller draws the liquid into the pipette. When one is mouth pipetting they draw the liquid into the pipette using suction created by their mouth. Think about the types of toxic and corrosive substances, researchers and scientists exposed themselves to when they would use the mouth pipetting technique. There is a great article on the Discover blog that goes into more details if you are interested in learning more about the dangers of mouth pipetting. This technique has been banned in all laboratories because of its associated health risks.
Simple Yet Effective The simplest type of pipette controller is of the rubberized bulb variety. The rubber pipette filler is designed for an efficient one-handed operation. Many of these fillers come with three valves so that you can control air evacuation, liquid uptake, and liquid dispensing quickly and easily. There are also two valved pipette fillers that release through an automatic valve. Although there are some slight differences in pipette fillers vary by the manufacturer the overall principle is the same.
Simple Pipetting Aids
Hybrid Pipette Controllers Blending the simplicity of the bulb styled pipette-aid with the ergonomic styling of a manual pipette controller, these unique pipette controllers will allow for even finer control of volumetric and serological pipettes.
Lightweight and Easy To Use
The RF1000 Pipette Controller from Heathrow Scientific is uniquely designed for one-hand operation. The replaceable and autoclavable tapered silicon pipette adapter allows for a large range of pipette sizes ranging from 1 to 50 milliliters. The intuitive design allows for simple and easy liquid transfer throughout your laboratory, squeeze the main bulb and push the toggle forward to aspirate or back to dispense. Expel any remaining liquid by pushing the blowout bulb conveniently located above the toggle for one-handed operation. This versatile pipette controller is compatible with common, readily available replacement filters, which helps reduce the cost of ownership over time. Storage is a breeze with the magnetic wall mount that will help prevent damage and contamination to your pipette controller.
The macro pipette controller from BrandTech Scientific has been a laboratory standard for decades, the newest version has been completely redesigned for enhanced precision and control of all volumetric and serological pipettes from 0.1-200 milliliters. The features that made the macro pipette controller so popular in the lab, including the “one-size-fits-all” silicone adapter, the reinforced ridge for easy tip wiping, and the sensitive toggle for smooth aspiration and dispensing, have all been retained in the new version. The ease of use makes this pipette controller an excellent tool for laboratories with multiple and novice users. The macro eliminates the awkward hand positioning associated with rubber pipette bulbs while increasing control of meniscus-level and flow rate. This pipette controller is lightweight and features a relaxed grip design and low-resistance operation which minimizes strain from prolonged pipetting.
Increase Efficiency with Motorized Pipette Controllers
Quickly and easily transfer liquids throughout your lab with the push of a button. These pipette controllers have improved liquid transport dramatically from the days of the unsafe practice of mouth pipetting. These innovative automatic pipettors provide rapid, yet sensitive aspiration and dispensing.
- BrandTech Accu-Jet Pro Pipette Controller
- Heathrow Scientific RF 3000
- Diamond SeroLogic Motorized Serological Pipettes
The New Standard In Pipette Controllers
BRAND accu-jet pro
The BRAND accu-jet pro pipette incorporates comfort and performance features that make it one of the most popular pipette controllers on the market. The well balanced and lightweight, accu-jet pro is contoured to accommodate both small and large hands. The ergonomic design eliminates pressure points and provides low-fatigue pipetting operation. The pressure-sensitive buttons control pipetting speeds and the motor-speed-limiter improves accuracy when working with small volume pipettes. The accu-jet offers advanced electronic features including an LED battery indicator, a long-life, environmentally friendly Nickel-Metal hydride battery, speed limiter, and two delivery modes. The dual-mode charger provides a quick charging in only four hours, after the full charge is complete, the charger switches to a pulsed mode to extend battery performance and life. The battery is easily accessible and the controller comes with two different style covers depending on your preferred storage method, benchtop or wall mounted. The charging socket is conveniently located on the bottom of the grip allowing you to pipette and charge simultaneously. The accu-jet comes in four different color accents for personal preference or color-coding of laboratory application.
Packed With Features For Comfort And Accurate Pipetting
Heathrow Scientific RF3000
The RF3000 from Heathrow Scientific has a powerful, microprocessor controlled pump with adjustable valves that provides accurate and dependable aspiration and dispensing of liquids. The universal grip and soft coated triggers are perfect for both right and left handed users. The well balanced controller offers users a comfortable experience when working with a loaded pipette. The UV resistant housing extends the life of the controller when exposed to UV sterilization. The RF3000 comes with five autoclavable nose cones including one small pipette adapter, and three replacement 045 microliter filters for added versatility. Filters are readily available, so you are not tied into a pipette specific brand which will help reduce the overall cost of ownership. The small pipette adapter can be fitted to the nose cone to stabilize small volume and thinner pipettes. The controller includes a long-life Li-Ion Battery, with a quick charge feature that provides up to 20 hours of continuous use. Bright LED’s indicate three operational modes, high, low, and gravity, which are activated by repeatedly pressing a large mode button that is in easy reach of your thumb when in use. The RF3000 comes with a magnetic wall mount and a benchtop charging station, making this pipette controller a welcomed addition to your laboratory.
Portable Pipette Controller
The Diamond SeroLogic portable pipette controller is a rechargeable electronic pipetting aid designed for use with glass or serological pipettes ranging from 0.1 to 100 milliliter. The lightweight and ergonomic design provides you with effortless pipetting even during extensive use. The powerful 3-speed motor controlled with soft-grip buttons provides you with up to eight hours of continuous use. The conveniently located speed control switch allows you to operate the controller with one hand. The SeroLogic pipette controller offers a low battery indicator and comes with two 1000mAH NiMH rechargeable batteries and an intelligent battery charger that protects against overcharging, overheating and short circuiting. A safety valve and replaceable membrane filter provide double protection against fluid and aerosol contamination. The Diamond SeroLogic portable pipette controller includes a desktop stand for bench top mounting and a wall mounting bracket for added flexibility.
3 Much Safer Alternatives
Now that we have reviewed several safer alternatives to mouth pipetting, you should feel confident in selecting your next pipette filler/controller for your laboratory. Each type of pipette controller has specific benefits and features that you will want to carefully consider before making your decision. We have produced several product demo videos to help you understand the different benefits offered by each type of controller. We hope this guide was informative and helpful during your selection process, we’d like your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us on social media or simply leave a comment below.