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Monday, October 10, 2011

How to eliminate beading when cleaning pipettes?


We are doing some experiments to quantify the amount of liquid residue on pipette walls before/ after cleaning. In practise, this would relate the accuracy of the pipette to its cleanliness. 

Could you inform us if the use of Alconox affects the amount of beading (of distilled water) on the walls of a brush cleaned and rinsed pipette, compared with the use of common dishwashing liquid? 

Proper cleaning of a pipette will result in proper functioning of the pipette: the designed amount of fluid being measured will be correct if the pipette is clean and the surface energy of the glass in not altered by any residues that would change the shape of the beading of the fluid being measured.  Typically pipettes are calibrated for water, but you can get specialty pipettes designed for other fluids, such as milk. 

Alconox is free rinsing, which means it does not contain any fragrances, dyes, cationic surfactants, fluorescent whitening agents, corrosion inhibitors, skin emollients or other ingredients that are designed to leave deposits on the substrate being cleaned.  If you rinse thoroughly, you will not have any Alconox residues to cause a change in surface energy of the pipette. 

A common dishwashing liquid might have a risk of depositing one of these non-free-rinsing ingredients that would typically be hydrophobic and would alter the surface energy of the glass/solution interface and change the accuracy of the pipette.  Smaller pipettes have a chance of residues impacting the pipette’s functioning.

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