A simple pipette definition is as follows - it is a thin tube with a bulb, used for measuring precise quantities of liquid.
The pipet or pipette, meaning 'little pipe', has been used in various forms since the late 19th-century primarily to reduce contamination in the transfer of samples. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the modern version of the scientific pipette was patented.
Today, the majority of different pipette types work in a similar way, although the quantity of liquid and measurement accuracy varies between each type.
Many modern versions work by creating a partial vacuum above the chamber where the liquid is held. This vacuum is then selectively released to draw and dispense from the chamber into a container. They can be used with a range of liquids including everything from distilled water to reagents.
These instruments are now used by chemists, biologists, and medical experts all over the world. There are various types of pipettes, each offering different levels of precision. Understanding what is a volumetric pipette, what is a glass pipette, and what is a pasteur pipette, for example, may seem straightforward but each type has key differences and suitable applications.