The components of even the most durable syringe will eventually fail. The most common symptom of failure may be leakage of your solvent from the syringe. The following are some common reasons for syringe leakage, as well as our recommended solutions.
1. Tip Connection
The most common symptom of failure may be leakage of your solvent from the syringe. If your syringe hub consists of a PTFE tip, check for small grooves in the PTFE surface. If sufficiently large, these grooves will allow solvent to leak past the tip. Typically, the tip can be replaced.
2. Solvent & Adhesive Compatibility
It is possible that your solvent is incompatible with the adhesive that joins the syringe plunger and the hub of the needle. Halogenated solvents such as chloroform should be avoided. We also recommend flushing your dripping syringe with deionized water or high-purity acetone before storage (upon storage, impurities may cause the plunger and barrel to stick or seize together).
Autoclaving is another syringe failure mode. Stainless-steel syringes expand more quickly than common glass upon heating (in the autoclave). This strains the adhesive between the barrel and hub, eventually leading to solvent leakage. Consider chemical sterilization instead, e.g. with ethylene oxide.
If your research application necessitates autoclaving your syringe, check with your supplier to ensure compatibility, yet keep in mind that autoclaving will probably reduce the lifetime of the syringe. Also note that rapid temperature changes may damage glass syringe barrels.