Working with micropipettes

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Shubhangi's picture
Working with micropipettes

Working with micropipettes,single or multi channel, for a long time can cause health hazard. As known in medical terms it is “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. Main symptom is pain in wrist and hand.
Researchers performing many dilutions using micropipettes (e.g. Dilutions for ELISA, micro arrays or bioassays etc.) are susceptible to this. Prolong handling of computer mouse also ends with same syndrome.
Carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel formed by the bones and other tissues of wrist. The chief nerve in this area is median nerve. Repeated movements of fingers and wrist while pipetting make other tissues in the carpal tunnel, such as ligaments and tendons, get swollen or inflamed and they press against this median nerve. It gives rise to pain. Sometimes loss of sense occurs. Hand feels numb. In more advanced stage the pain may go down to spinal cord affecting neck, shoulders, back and even legs.
Precaution to avoid the disorder– Body and hands’ proper position during work, take breaks in between and exercise.
Alternate options – use electronic pipettes or high throughput robots.

To know more about the condition check below link

Omai's picture
Check out this website from

Check out this website from Vista labs all about micropipetting correctly and avoiding carpal tunnel. Its is very well organized and informative. It talks a lot about the proper angle to hold a pipettor while working. Here is one of the diagrams from the website:

I really didn't consider this a problem until a colleague of mine in graduate school had some pretty severe complications from pipetting.

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture

Here is a pdf I've used when training new technician on proper use of the pipette in the laboratory (it includes a discussion on ergonomics):
The bottom line though is that if you are an average individual you will likely develop ergonomic problems if you use pipettes on a regular basis over a long period of time.
One line of pipettes you may want to consider to alleviate part of this problems is the Ovation pipettes by VistaLab. They are more expensive, but definitely a lot easier on your hands. 

Arvind Singh Pundir
Arvind Singh Pundir's picture
some usefull links for  good
Jadmas's picture
 Thanks for sharing! but  it

 Thanks for sharing! but  it is very instructive. I found this website if you would like to read further information: