Babechuk Research Group Blog
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Geochemistry Pipette Station
Geochemists appreciate the importance of pipetting in the laboratory. Most of the pipetting involves the transfer of mineral acids (HF, HNO3, HCl) from a dispensing container into sample vials, and this step occurs at numerous stages of the sample preparation. Many of these containers/vials have small openings and when dealing with ultra-clean chemistry it becomes important to carefully control the pipette such that disposable tips do not touch unclean surfaces.
Now, imagine the challenge of pipetting acids when you have a vision impairment. Add to this the factor that most laboratory surfaces and vessels are white to translucent, offering no colour contrast. This became a challenge in the Babechuk Research Group recently and led to the development of a custom-built, pipette station, which allows a user to fix the position of the pipette above a vial for safer and smoother pipetting. After a series of early sketches, the station was built by Memorial University's Tech Services team. Below are photos of the Mark 1 design, which recently experienced its first applied use in the Isotope Geochemistry Group's clean laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany. Photos, features, and videos demonstrating use of the pipette station follow.
Features of the pipette station include:
The 3 videos above demonstrate the use of the pipette station for pipetting acid from one container to another, adjusting the swing arm and working height, and swapping pipette cradles.
Special thanks to Prof. Dr. Ronny Schoenberg for allowing us the use of his ultra-clean laboratory for some Babechuk Research Group work.
NOTICE: This is the Mark 1 design and if anyone in the geochemical community has any suggestions/recommendations, I would be happy to hear them. Also, if you would like to have a similar (or identical) pipette station made for your laboratory, please get in touch! I can put you in contact with Memorial University's Tech Services and it can be arranged.
Members of the Babechuk Research Group