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Evolution of the Pipette

Scientific demands continue to drive the development of this once simple, now highly sophisticated technology.

by John Buie

The pipette, along with the analytical balance, microscope and centrifuge, is a laboratory staple whose history dates back to the turn of the century. But when examining the early iterations of this important tool, you do not find much in common with what comes out of the box in today’s lab equipment deliveries.

Has the evolution of these essential lab tools over the past 60 years shaped modern-day research, or have the increasing demands scientists place on their instruments been the primary catalyst of these innovations?

This article looks at the pipette and how increasing demands in microanalysis, lab safety and automation have shaped its evolution. We also look at particular innovators in the manufacturing of scientific instruments who, with their thumbs on the pulse of research, have responded with groundbreaking innovations in pipette development.

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Evolution of Pipettes (PDF Format)