The Practice Of Pipette Calibration In The Lab



When working either in a clinic or in a lab, one instrument that is used very commonly to carry liquid is called a pipette. This is a bigger version of the medicine dropper and works on the same principle of creating a vacuum to draw up the liquid, which is released when this is pressed.

In order to ensure accuracy at all times, this instrument needs to be calibrated. This depends on four important factors namely; the skill of the people working in the lab as well as the handling of such equipment, the type of liquid that is being placed into the pipette and the type of work where this instrument is used.

In most cases, these instruments are calibrated every 6 months but companies that are engaged in with food or drugs are required to this quarterly or every 3 months. Schools that conduct chemistry classes can do this annually but those involved in research and forensics where a lot of testing goes on will have to do this monthly.

How are pipettes calibrated? This is usually done through gravimetric analysis. Each instrument undergoes testing by dispensing distilled water into a vessel. Each pipette should be able to release the same volume to get the required weight as set by the National Institute of Safety and Standard or NIST.

A more expensive way to calibrate the pipettes is by the colormetric method where colored water is used and dispensed. A spectrophotometer is used to measure the weight, which can later on determine if some adjustments in the instruments have to be made.

The type of calibration to be done will really depend on the contractor chosen. The most rigid which certifies that the place is up to international standard is when it is ISO/IEC 17025, which is the highest so far.

This means the personnel in the facility are well trained and practice the most advanced techniques when conducting anything in the lab. It is not only private companies that do this but also other places that are run by the government such as the Center for Disease Control or CDC and those run by law enforcement agencies. This to ensure the safety of the employees and the people.

So, if the person needs to do blood work or any other test, it will be a good idea to do it in a place that has these standards in place to get unbiased and accurate results.


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