To ensure pipette readings are accurate and reliable, proper calibration of a pipette is extremely necessary. Like all other measuring devices, pipettes are prone to drifting and cause serious consequences if they are not calibrated properly. Below we have outlined the proper pipette calibration process.
DETERMINING THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
Before calibration can be started, a technician will need to review documentation on the needed standard operating procedure to ensure process conformance. Once the correct standard operating procedures have been identified, the technician will prepare a spreadsheet to record results during the pipette calibration.
GATHERING OF NECESSARY EQUIPMENT
The next step in the calibration process is gathering all materials needed for proper pipette calibration. Necessary equipment includes:
- An analytical balance
- A beaker
- A NIST calibrated thermometer
- A volumetric flask
- A pair of gloves
- Pipette tips
Each piece of equipment is vital to proper pipette calibration and is needed before the official calibration process can begin.
PIPETTE CALIBRATION TESTING
After the two steps above are completed in their entirety, a technician can then begin to calibrate a each pipette.
First the calibration technician will record the make, model and serial number of the pipette. Notably, specific pipette model numbers may also include information on the minimum and maximum volume setting. Most pipette calibration testing will require measurement for the minimum, mid-point, and maximum volume setting.
The calibration technician will place the specific liquid receptacle on the analytical scale, which must be set to zero. By setting the scale to zero, the technician is ensuring that the only component being measure is the liquid with the pipette.
The technician will set the pipette to the selected measurement needed in the standard operating procedure. Once the first measurement is taken, it will be recorded and then repeated between five and ten times.
After the three steps of calibration are performed, the technician will be able to determine if the pipette passed or failed calibration testing. If the pipette fails calibration testing, the technician will then check the instrument’s overall condition. If needed, the technician will clean the pipette and then begin the testing again.
BENEFITS OF PIPETTE CALIBRATION
Many benefits can be reaped from proper pipette calibration:
- High measurement performance
- Instrument reliability
- Instrument accuracy
- Confidence in instrument measurement
If you have any questions about pipette calibration, or would like a quote, contact e2b calibration.