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November 2021 − Eppendorf News
60 years ago, Eppendorf launched the world‘s first industrially manufactured piston-stroke pipette, changing laboratory work forever.
Marburg Pipette was the name of Eppendorf’s first pipette in 1961, a completely new instrument for handling liquids in the laboratory at that time. The novelty already had the same basic elements that characterize modern piston-stroke pipettes: a spring-loaded piston that stops exactly at a set volume level, and a removable pipette tip made of plastic. Only this innovation made it possible to pipette liquids in the microliter range easily, reliably and safely. Together with the first Eppendorf Tube® (“Eppi®”) reaction tube, a microliter centrifuge, and a thermomixer, the Marburg pipette formed the Eppendorf microliter system: a revolutionary set of instruments that paved the way for modern clinical analysis and molecular biology research.
But the story goes on: over the past 60 years, ever-improving solutions from Eppendorf for liquid handling have led again and again to innovative designs that have made working in the laboratory ever more efficient, safer and better.
Today, Eppendorf customers can choose from a wide range of instruments, consumables and services to meet their liquid handling needs and further advance their research work.
Suction: that no longer pulls
Until the 1950s, scientists pipetted liquids by aspirating them into thin glass tubes by mouth – an unreliable and sometimes even dangerous technique. Frustrated by the inadequacies of mouth pipetting, German physician Heinrich Schnitger constructed a “device for the rapid and accurate pipetting of small quantities of liquid” using a converted tuberculin syringe and applied for a patent in 1958. Eppendorf was the first to recognize its importance and further developed it into the “Marburg Pipette” by 1961.
Ready, set, pipette!
The global dissemination of pipettes picked up speed between 1961 and the 1980s, bringing with it new challenges and new developments. For example, the microplate gradually gained acceptance for various assays and analyses, and the single-channel pipette proved to be a bottleneck for efficient dispensing. The solution: multi-channel pipettes, such as the Titerman pipette launched by Eppendorf in 1993. With the ability to dispense up to 12 reagents simultaneously, the Titerman was the optimal complement to the microplate.
Think of your thumbs: the ergonomics of pipettes
Eppendorf was already thinking about intelligent ergonomic design in the 1970s and always had the user in mind when developing new products. With the introduction of the Eppendorf PhysioCare Concept® in 2003, the company anchored a holistic ergonomics concept in product development. A result of this time are also the first electronic pipettes, which contribute to safer working with revolutionary speed, accuracy and precision.
The future of pipettes is now
Demand for innovative laboratory designs is increasing as the fast and reliable processing of high workloads becomes more and more important. One example is high-throughput analysis, where automated pipetting systems such as Eppendorf's epMotion® systems are used. Another component is the increasing digitalization of laboratories, where networked pipettes will play an important role in saving more time, reducing repetitive tasks and providing more accurate results.
We have compiled all the experience we have gained over the past 60 years and published a guide with many tips on choosing the right pipette and for correct pipetting. Download your free copy: