Pipetting Ergonomics

Pipetting Ergonomics Protects Users and Improves Results​

Pipetting is one of the most common tasks performed in a laboratory on a daily basis. Studies show that more than 40% of lab professionals suffer from pipetting-caused disorders. In addition to causing discomfort to the user, the hand and arm injuries reduce the working ability and thus the accuracy, precision and reliability of the results.

By becoming aware of your personal ergonomic risk factors and eliminating them, you can reduce your risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) while pipetting.

Browse Our Ergonomic Pipettes

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Proper Liquid Handling Tool Selection

One way to minimize strain is to use proper tools in the lab. Here are some things to look for, when selecting an ergonomic pipette:

  • Choose an electronic pipette with electronic tip ejection
  • Choose a mechanical pipette with low operating forces especially tip ejection
  • The pipette should be comfortable to hold and light weight
  • The finger hook should provide proper support to minimize grip force
  • The pipette should be suitable for both right- and left-hand use
  • Pipette tip ejection should be easy and tip attachment light
  • Choose a multichannel pipette to speed up work and minimize repetition

Be Kind to Your Hand

There are significant differences between pipettes when it comes to operating forces. The force required to complete a single pipetting cycle including aspiration, dispense, blow-out and tip ejection is quite modest, but the differences accumulate in repetitive use. Tip ejection is the single most force demanding individual step during pipetting so electronically control ejection or a very soft tip ejection will save you from a lot of strain in the lab.​

When pipetting tasks are repetitive, your exposure to awkward postures and applied forces can increase your risk of injury. To mitigate this risk, it is smart to use an electronic pipette which requires similar amount of pressure as with your laptop keys. Multichannel models reduce repetition as 8 or 12 channels are controlled together.

Improve Your Results With Ergonomic Tools​

An ergonomic pipette reduces the variation of your results. Light tools don’t make you tired as quickly which directly improves your pipetting performance. A fully electronic pipette helps you keep your experiments reproducible even when you need to pipette for long periods in a go.​

Sartorius Focuses on User’s Well-being​

At Sartorius we focus on ergonomics, user-friendliness, high accuracy and efficiency, when developing tools for pipetting. Our developers aim to design pipettes which cause as little strain on the user’s hand as possible yet ensuring highest accuracy and precision. The forces you need for operating and holding Sartorius pipettes are very low. The handles are designed to fit for various hand sizes and for different holding positions, to ensure the most comfortable grip for both right- and left-handed users. Their sophisticated and compact design makes Sartorius pipettes to feel a natural extension of the arm and reduces the stress leading to injuries like RSI (repetitive strain injury).​

  • Our electronic Picus® pipettes reduce strain by featuring extremely light pipetting forces and electronic tip ejection. These are your most ergonomic choices.​

  • The mechanical Tacta® pipettes are the lightest pipettes available on the market. The soft tip ejection and Optiload feature with spring loaded tip cones enable tip mounting and ejection with a low force, especially on multichannel models.​

  • Sartorius pipette tips are available in racks that are easy to open with one hand. They are compatible with the Optiload feature for light tip loading and ejection.

*M.G. Björkstén, B. Almby, E. S. Jansson: Hand and shoulder ailments among laboratory technicians using modern plunger-operated pipettes. Applied Ergonomics 1994 25(2) 88-94.

The Most Ergonomic Pipettes

Both electronic and mechanical pipettes have their advantages and considering in which kind of work a pipette will be used should be done prior purchasing one. Picus® electronic pipettes can speed up work and reduce variance whereas Tacta® pipettes shine with how easy they are to sterilize. See our selection of ergonomic pipettes below:​

Picus Electronic Pipette

Picus® Electronic Pipette

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Picus® Nxt Electronic Pipette

Tacta® Mechanical Pipette

Frequently Asked Questions

Repetitive pipetting exposes the user to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)  and repetitive strain injury (RSI) and can cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The common symptoms are pain in hands and arm, especially in the wrists. There is no threshold value of safe level of pipetting so everyone regardless of amount of pipetting should consider work ergonomics.

  • Frequency of pipetting​
  • Speed of your movements​
  • The time of continuous pipetting​
  • Working posture and how much it deviates from a neutral posture​
  • Time reserved between sessions for rest and recovery

Using ergonomic tools and especially the use of fully electronic pipettes reduces ergonomic risk. Spread repetitive work throughout the day and allow enough time for your hand and body to rest. Be aware of your working posture and work in as neutral position as possible. Alternate your pipetting hand and where possible share pipetting responsibilities with multiple persons

Pipette Resources

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Pipetting Resources

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