What is capillary pipette?

Capillary Pipette

A capillary pipette is a precision tool used in laboratories for the transfer of very small volumes of liquid. Its design is based on the capillary action principle, which is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, and in opposition to, external forces like gravity.


Capillary pipettes are typically made of glass or plastic and consist of a long, thin tube with a narrow opening at one end and sometimes a bulb at the other. The narrow opening allows for the precise collection and dispensation of liquid samples, utilizing the natural capillary action to draw liquid up into the tube.


They are commonly used in medical, biological, and chemical laboratories for tasks requiring high precision, such as blood sampling, micro-volume chemical additions, and the handling of precious reagents. Capillary pipettes are especially useful in situations where the volume of liquid is too small to be handled by traditional pipetting methods.


  • Precision: Allows for the handling of extremely small liquid volumes with high accuracy.
  • Convenience: Easy to use and requires minimal training.
  • Minimal Contamination: The design minimizes the risk of cross-contamination between samples.


When using capillary pipettes, it is important to ensure that they are clean and free from any obstructions that could affect capillary action. Additionally, the viscosity and surface tension of the liquid being transferred can influence the efficiency of liquid transfer, requiring adjustments in technique for optimal performance.

In summary, capillary pipettes are essential tools in the laboratory for the precise and efficient transfer of micro-volumes of liquid. Their design, based on the principle of capillary action, makes them uniquely suited for tasks that require high levels of accuracy and minimal contamination.

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