Pipette tips are a notable example of a liquid handling product observing growth demand. According to Future Market Insights, the pipette tips market is expected to register a CAGR of 8% by garnering a market value of $1.47 billion by the end of 2032. The use of the products in pharmaceutical R&D is a central driver of this growth.
Moreover, pipette tips’ ability to prevent cross-contamination during sample handling is increasing their use in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
Technological advances along with the availability of standard, filtered and low-retention pipettes are other factors sparking interest in such products. Especially in the healthcare sector, the penetration of automated pipette systems that offer accuracy and precision during experiments and blood tests are also driving growth.
In this article, we discuss how the products help support the pharmaceutical processing world.
Manufacturers focus on offering pipette tips that support accuracy
Numerous factors have the potential to damage or change the nature of reagents or fluids present in pipette tips. This leads to a loss of accuracy and precision in results. Surface tension, volatility, viscosity along with temperature can affect the pipetting quality. Overall, any type of damage or external factors that affect the quality of the products can change the course of results or medication, resulting in unexpected and unavoidable damage. Manufacturers are therefore focusing on products that are efficient enough to fight against the harmful properties present on the surface of the pipette or the environment.
For instance, In October 2021, Nerbe Plus launched premium surface low-retention pipette tips in the U.K. exclusively for Alpha Laboratories Ltd. The pipettes reportedly offer the highest precision and reproducibility in a pipetting cycle. The pipette’s smooth surface not only prevents loss of material through absorption but also reduces DNA denaturation to optimize reliability. The accuracy of these surface tips is not affected by the physical properties of the sample. This, in turn, helps ensure reliable results. These pipette qualities also improve efficiencies of test sequences and help cut costs associated with expensive reagents.
Rapid production of micropipette tips
Technological advances in the field of laboratory equipment continue to influence the liquid-handling equipment industry. Other drivers of change include equipment miniaturization, pipette tip automation and the rise of disposable micropipettes.
Key manufacturers are focusing on manufacturing machines that produce pipette tips at a faster speed to reduce the gap between the production and demand of micropipettes.
In May 2022, Eppendorf launched calibration of multi-channel pipettes. The company added a new pipette calibration facility in India with the installation of ‘Speedcal mobile’. This will help in the calibration of 8-channel or 12-channel micropipettes in less than thirty minutes. The patented and unique calibration system includes 12 weighing systems that offer fast, efficient and precise calibration of multichannel pipettes. In addition, none of this requires human intervention and eliminates the possibility of data correction and manipulation.
Multi-faceted use of pipette tips
The multi-purpose use of pipette tips is proving to be advantageous to pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics, healthcare, academic and education sectors. The digital transformation of these end user sectors is further accelerating the use of pipette tips.
- Experiments that require sterility, like cell culture, make maximum use of pipette tips. As the products reduce the chance of cross-contamination and offer better results. Availability of pre-sterilized tips free of any DNA, RNase or pyrogens helps in keeping the experiment contamination-free.
- Pipette tips are excellent at saving time as they are easy to use and quick. Most liquid handling equipment is complicated to use in comparison to pipette tips. This, in turn, is increasing the dependency on the products.
- Pipette tip consumers are exploring the use of a greater variety of samples with pipette tips, using different methods, materials and conditions. Manufacturers of pipettes provide pipettes in nearly all sizes or standard and universal sizes to suit a larger scale of different end user industries.
Shortage of pipette tips: A major challenge to the pharmaceutical industry
The shortage of pipette tips has emerged as a central challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of factors have contributed to the shortage. The pandemic itself fueled pipette tip demand as a result of patient testing. In addition, the increasing use of pipette tips for infant care is another trend contributing to rapid pipette tip demand in recent years. Power cuts in Texas due to wind storms affected the production of pipette tips. This led to a delay in the manufacturing of the products. Thus, resulting in a major strain on demand and supply for pipette tips across the globe.
As a result of such shortages, many laboratories are borrowing pipettes from other laboratories. In addition, prioritizing the use of pipette tips for emergency cases and essential services is dividing the supply, thus aggravating the supply of pipette tips.
For instance, scientists at Octant are extremely particular about using filtered pipette tips. As most filtered tips are difficult to source lately, scientists are using them only for sensitive cases. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the shortage of pipette tips. The only solution is to use pipette tips conservatively and to boost efficiency in production and supply chain management.
The future of pipette tips
The use of pipette tips is expected to increase swiftly in the coming years. The pharmaceutical industry’s increase in sample testing will be a growth driver. Furthermore, continued growth in diagnostics will further increase reliance on these products.
Although pipette tips are an essential component of laboratories across the globe, the waste produced due to them has become a matter of concern. As these tips can only be used once, they are increasing non-recyclable waste in landfills. The harmful chemicals present in the pipette tips is another concern. As a result, manufacturers are working to popularize the concept of reusable pipette tips.
Technological advancements in the pharmaceutical industry are contributing to the growth of pipette tip demand. With the help of technologically-driven machines, the accuracy and precision pipette tips is expected to increase, thus making them extremely reliable for professionals working in laboratories and healthcare sectors.
Sabyasachi Ghosh is associate vice president (AVP), market research at Future Market Insights (FMI), and a Greater New York Chamber of Commerce member. The award-winning firm is headquartered in Dubai. It also has offices in the United States, United Kingdom and India. MarketNgage is the Market Research Subscription Platform from FMI that assists stakeholders in obtaining in-depth research across industries, markets and niche segments. You can connect with Sabyasachi on LinkedIn.