In July, The Scientist conducted a brief survey of our readers to identify product trends and developments in pipette usage. More than 530 life-science researchers told us how much time they spend each day using a pipette; the types of pipetting errors they encounter; and the reasons for and factors that would influence their next pipette purchase.
The largest number of respondents uses a pipette for 1 to 2 hours per day; 28% spend more than 3 hours a day pipetting.
Human error is the largest source of pipetting problems, followed by liquids sticking to the tips, and loss of accuracy when working with viscous liquids (multi-option select question, chart depicts the percent of survey respondents who experienced these various pipetting errors).
The most important factors influencing purchasing pipette decisions are reliability and accuracy and the availability of tips and accessories.
The main reason for cited by respondents planning to purchase a new pipette is replacement of an aging model.Only 5% of respondents cited ergonomics as a factor influencing the purchase of a new pipette.
Updated (08 August): This article has been updated to clarify that “The source of pipette errors” was a multi-option select question.