A medical device called a syringe dispenser is used to deliver precise amounts of low or high viscosity fluids in a variety of settings. It may be used for lab experiments or diagnostic tests, such as tissue typing. The syringe dispenser can be manually operated or automated through a connection to a portable computer. Most are hand-held and are preset to release the same volume of liquid repeatedly.
Hand-held manual single syringe dispensers release a predetermined amount of fluid from a disposable syringe reservoir. The small rectangular device holds one syringe reservoir connected to a tapered tip. It is operated by a thumb press or lever, and the amount of pressure required to dispense the liquid can be adjusted to the individual preferences of the operator. Prepackaged syringes prevent the operator from coming into contact with the fluid contained within the syringe reservoir.
An automatic single syringe dispenser is used to place fixed amounts of a fluid onto a lab plate, test tube, or into a small vial. Single dispensers have one drive for the replaceable syringe and a separate valve positioner to force the fluid out of the syringe. The syringe reservoir used in the dispenser is usually disposable, but some are reusable after sterilization in an autoclave.
Dual syringe dispensers are used when two different liquids need to be dispensed simultaneously for a specific chemical reaction. A double drive for the syringes and dual valve positioners release the exact volume of liquid necessary with each use of the device. Most of these automated dual syringe dispensers feature a safety lock to prevent the accidental release of the fluid material.
Dentists make regular use of the syringe dispenser. Certain dental amalgam materials are dispensed through a manual dual syringe dispenser, preventing the substances from mixing together prior to the application to the cavity site. The syringe dispenser may be equipped with plastic or Teflon® tips tapered for easier placement of the amalgam into the cavity.
An automated repeating syringe dispenser is necessary when up to eight liquids need to be placed onto tissue culture plates repeatedly. Rows of syringes are packaged as one unit, and inserted into the dispenser before each use. The syringe reservoirs can be quickly removed for different applications. Tapered tips ensure the precise placement of the fluid. Additionally, the volume of liquid dispensed from each syringe can be swiftly adjusted to the specifications of the experiment or diagnostic test.