Air-displacement micropipette design ideas

Hi all!

I would like to start an open discussion on what might be important for the design of open hardware micro-pipettes.

Sharing ideas, insight, possible challenges, or links to existing projects could be good places to start.

Pipettes have been around for a long time, so maybe looking for expired patents could also be interesting. Help with this type of search would also be super valuable.

We want help to design an electronic pipette set, which doesn’t have to be perfect at first. The idea is that it works well enough, and that it can be eventually improved to pass quality standards.

Some hopefully ice-breaking bullet-points:

  1. Piston and seal: choice for a suitable piston material / manufacturing process and air-tight seal (for example a rectified linear rod and a chemically resistant o-ring).
  2. Actuation and transmission: choosing between DC/stepper motors + threaded rods, piezo-based actuation, or others; planning movements for different pipetting modes, and fluids of different charachteristics (surface tension, volatility, viscosity, etc.).
  3. Pipette tip, shaft, and body: geometry and mechanical stability for tip placement, choice of chemically resistant materials, keeping air cushion volume low, etc.
  4. :world_map: Sourcing parts and manufacturing: choose widely available parts and keep it at lower-costs.

This post for help is associated to a project supported by GOSH’s CDP :gosh: :partying_face:, so there will be funds for parts and work-hours eventually, in case someone is interested.


Just in case, I’ve continued discussing this on the project’s GitLab: Micropipettes (#80) · Issues · pipettin-bot / Pipetting Bot · GitLab