The Gilson Pipetman Ultra Multichannel is a manual, 8 or 12-channel pipette with electronic display and volume adjustment for liquid handling of volumes from 20 to 300μl. We have purchased the 12-channel pipette, although in most cases an 8-channel pipette will not be of significant disadvantage, especially if used with standard 96-well plates.
The Gilson Pipetman Ultra Multichannel comes in the usual Gilson design, with a sturdy blue handle and white, autoclavable head. Unfortunately, it is not possible to autoclave the entire pipette and the handle must be removed from the head first. However, clear, detailed instructions on the maintenance and cleaning of the pipet are provided in the accompanying manual. The Gilson Pipetman Ultra Multichannel fits most standard 20-200μl tips; most tips attach firmly without undue force. Tips also dislodge easily and only when the tip-ejector button is used, not at any stage during pipetting as with some other pipettes. The tip ejector button can be adjusted to three positions: left, right and center, depending on the preference of the operator. The tip ejector looks to be the most fragile external component of the pipette, but to date we have not observed any deterioration in functionality. However, even when adjusted to the side, the tip ejector button can still be less than ideally positioned and with long use of the pipette one tends to notice that it is not entirely ergonomically positioned.
Generally, use of the pipette is quite comfortable even after prolonged pipetting as the dispensing step does not require too much force and repetitive strain injuries are minimized as much as possible for manual pipettes. The volume can be adjusted in 0.5μl steps by pulling up the thumbwheel and turning the wheel up and down as required. This function was faulty in the first pipette we acquired and the pipette needed to be replaced, however, even in the replacement pipette, adjusting the volume is quite sensitive and often several attempts are needed in order to not over- or undershoot the desired volume. Once the desired volume has been set, the thumbwheel is returned to its original position to lock the volume setting. Dispensing liquids can, especially at lower volumes, require sufficient force that it is difficult to dispense liquids slowly. This may be a drawback when slow dispensing is required to avoid, as in our case, disturbance of sensitive cell monolayers, or for other work where slow dispensing is an advantage.
Many tools for maintenance of the pipette are provided, including a recalibration tool, tip-holder assembly tool and a tube of lubricant. Calibration of the pipette can be quite laborious, and though detailed instructions are provided, a trained person must carry out calibration. However, calibration or general maintenance such as lubrication is not needed too often as the pipette is very robust.
School of Pharmacy
The University of Queensland