60-year anniversary of a pipetting masterstroke

Eppendorf South Pacific Pty Ltd
Thursday, 01 April, 2021

2021 marks a key milestone for anyone working in a lab. 60 years ago, Eppendorf changed the ways of liquid handling forever with a new product type that enables today’s scientists to talk and pipette simultaneously! In 1958, German physician Heinrich Schnitger at the University of Marburg filed for a patent describing a ‘device for the fast and exact pipetting of small liquid volumes.’ Eppendorf recognised the potential and developed it into the first industrial manufactured piston-stroke pipette.

A world first

Launched in 1961, Eppendorf’s ‘Marburg Pipette’ featured the same basic elements to those found in today’s labs: a spring-loaded piston that stops exactly at a set volume level and a removable plastic tip. This alternative to cumbersome and risky mouth pipetting with glass tube pipettes changed the face of pipetting forever.

The new piston-stroke pipette paved the way for modern clinical analytics and biochemical research by enabling safe, easy and accurate liquid handling in the microliter range. With its launch and the complementary reaction tubes (launched in 1963), which are known around the world as Eppendorf Tubes® or Eppis® Eppendorf laid the foundation of its premium liquid handling business.

Continuing innovation

Since then, by applying our proven expertise and innovation, Eppendorf has continued to set industry standards in precise manual and automatic dispensing of small volumes. For example, in 1978, we redefined liquid handling again with the introduction of the Multipette® pipette with Combitips® pipette tips system — the first handheld repetitive dispenser and an entirely new concept of disposable tips with integrated pistons.

We have always worked closely with our customers to understand their precise needs and develop the right pipette or solution for every application. Through this partnership, we recognised the growing requirement for increased throughput with the arrival of 96-well plates, and in 1994 launched the Titerman, our first manual multi-channel pipette for high sample throughput.

Still accelerating research

Over the years we have continued to evolve the pipette through the advent of electronic pipetting and automated liquid handling systems for the utmost reproducibility of micro- and nanolitre volumes. And today, our customers can choose from the broadest range of devices to suit their liquid handling needs and further accelerate their research, from the Research® plus and Reference 2 manual pipettes, the Xplorer®/Xplorer® plus electronic pipettes, the Multipette M4 and E3/E3x dispensers to our new adjustable tip spacing Move It® pipettes.


With Eppendorf’s state-of-the-art instruments, high-quality consumables and value-add services the past, present and future of pipetting in the lab is in safe hands.

For more information please visit www.eppendorf.com.au

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