The pipetting problem

Written by Raimon Keijzer op 26 January 2021Leestijd: 3 minuten

The Ovation® Series Pipettes from VistaLab™ Technologies

Innovative pipetting technology designed with user comfort and health in mind

By Damon Anderson, PhD

Did my whole Ph.D. with “normal” pipets, resulting in greater and greater
levels of wrist pain over the course of 5 years. By my second year of postdoc,
it was bad enough that I would procrastinate experiments that involved
pipetting, and I feared that I might have to give up experimental science and
find a different career. I made the switch to Ovation pipets, and within a
month my wrist pain was completely gone. I now have my own lab and will be
urging all of my trainees to use Ovation pipets from the beginning, hopefully
avoiding the issues I had to go through. Daniel Dickinson, PhD

Many pipette manufacturers mention user comfort and
ergonomics. However, these important aspects typically
come as afterthoughts, often following descriptions of pipette
performance metrics and features.

The pipetting problem
“Designing products for your health so you can focus on
the science” is a VistaLab motto which fits well with the
Ovation Series philosophy. Advanced engineering comes in
many forms, from dispensing accuracy to digital control and
ergonomics. Rather than designing a pipette holder to fit the
performance hardware, why not approach the problem from
the opposite perspective? Engineer an ergonomically correct
pipette holder and integrate the performance hardware to
conform to this design.
Although this idea has been notably overlooked, the concept
couldn’t be more relevant – particularly for those labs invested
heavily in manual liquid handling and cell culture. Simply put,
repetitive motion and hand strain are serious issues which can
affect users and lab operations just the same. Accuracy and
precision can be compromised and lab productivity can suffer
as a result. These are issues that VistaLab took into serious
consideration with design of the Ovation Series.

The Ovation solution
The Ovation pipette was specifically designed to address each of
these force-related concerns.

• A loose, relaxed grip is used in all pipetting operations, including
tip acquisition.
• A gentle push of the pipette’s nozzle into a tip is all that’s needed
to acquire a tip.
• An audible “click” provides feedback to confirm that the tip is
seated properly and additional effort is not needed.
• Easy on – easy off. Ovation’s proprietary “energy release” button
ejects tips with a gentle push.
• The Ovation requires less force throughout all pipetting tasks.
In total these features result in a significant reduction in the overall
amount of force required when pipetting thus decreasing the pain
and risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI).
The Ovation Pipette was specifically designed to address each of
these posture-related concerns.

1) Eliminate arm and neck strain
• The user’s arm elevation remains low,
minimizing stress to the elbow, shoulder
and neck.
• The user’s elbow remains close to the body
in a neutral posture to maximize available
arm strength.
2) Eliminate wrist and carpal tunnel strain
• The user’s wrist remains in a pronated
position and neutral range of motion
throughout all pipetting operations,
eliminating repetitive twisting of the forearm
and reducing pressure on the carpal tunnel.
• Ovation’s adjustable hook allows a custom
fit and reduced holding effort for right and
left-handed users.

3) Eliminate hand and thumb strain
• The pipette’s contoured shape provides
maximum stability and minimal contact
pressure for the hand.
• A loose, relaxed grip increases available
strength in the hand, improving endurance
and productivity during pipetting
• Rounded plunger and tip ejection buttons
with reduced

Other unique features to aid the user on the bench are the upright
“standing” design of the Ovation that means tips and pipette barrels
are elevated, preventing contact with the bench and chance of
contamination. All Ovation pipettes are color coded by volume for
easy identification to assist the user.

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