Contamination and carryover free handling of complex fluids using lubricant-infused pipette tips Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractCross-contamination of biological samples during handling and preparation, is a major issue in laboratory setups, leading to false-positives or false-negatives. Sample carryover residue in pipette tips contributes greatly to this issue. Most pipette tips on the market are manufactured with hydrophobic polymers that are able to repel high surface tension liquids, yet they lack in performance when low surface tension liquids and viscous fluids are involved. Moreover, hydrophobicity of pipette tips can result in hydrophobic adsorption of biomolecules, causing inaccuracies and loss in precision during pipetting. Here we propose the use of lubricant-infused surface (LIS) technology to achieve omniphobic properties in pipette tips. Using a versatile and simple design, the inner lumen of commercially available pipette tips was coated with a fluorosilane (FS) layer using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The presence of FS groups on the tips is confirmed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) tests. After lubrication of the tips through a fluorinated lubricant, the omniphobicity and repellent behaviour of the tips drastically enhanced which are revealed via static and hysteresis contact angle measurements. The repellency of the lubricant-infused pipette tips against physical adsorption is investigated through pipetting a food coloring dye as well as human blood samples and are compared to the untreated tips. The results show significantly less amount carryover residue when the lubricant-infused tips are utilized compared to commercially available ones. We also demonstrate the lubricant-infused tips reduce bacteria contamination of the inner lumen by 3 to 6-log (over 99%, depending on the tip size) after pipetting up and down the bacteria solution.


  • Shakeri, Amid
  • Yousefi, Hanie
  • Jarad, Noor Abu
  • Kullab, Samer
  • Al-Mfarej, Dalya
  • Rottman, Martin
  • Didar, Tohid

publication date

  • August 25, 2022