Change comes rather slowly in the world of laboratory research. Which is surprising, considering it is an industry that has built itself on the shoulders of courageous iconoclasts....but that is for a different article.
Protocols take on an almost "etched in stone" quality which often dictate not only specific volumes for reagents and exact timing; but right down to the make and manufacturer of the plastic used for the process.
So when a new product comes to market, it takes a great deal of time for even the "early-adopters" to take the plunge and tamper with what has already been working well.
In most every lab, there are a few basic tube options for storing, mixing, performing aliquots and spinning down. Pretty much you will find .2mL up to 50mL as the standard.
A few years ago Eppendorf added a new option to the mix: The 5mL snap-cap tube; essentially a very large version of the ubiquitous 1.5mL (known as "the Eppendorf") tube.
5mL tubes are now available from numerous sources in both sterile and non-sterile, clear and colored options.
From our vantage point, there have been some early success with adoption of this 5mL tube. Not earth-shattering, but a significant enough response to warrant exploration of variations on the same theme.
This May, Stellar Scientific will be releasing a new SCREW-CAP version of the 5mL tube that comes packaged sterile and in the familiar foam-rack format. We are calling this new version the "Centri-Cutie" and you can find them on our website by following this link.
Here is a picture:
Preliminary market tests have produced very positive feedback, with more than fifty percent of labs surveyed saying they could find value in such a tube. Some examples that were shared with us:
One lab discovered they were storing their 4mL viruses in 15mL tubes in their -80 freezer. They realized they could free up an enormous amount of space by switching to the Centri-Cutie instead.
Another lab felt the Centri-Cutie would be perfect for performing drug dilutions while working in the tight confines of a hood. The smaller size translates into less waste, but also lower clearance needed and more room for manipulation.
Several labs have indicated that the smaller tube size, with the added security of a screw-cap lock, makes them a good choice for low-volume immunoprecipitations where a larger tube can make obtaining full bead coverage a real challenge.
We believe this tube has a lot of potential to improve processes in the lab. We want to hear from the public your thoughts. What might be some pros and cons of this tube? How would you use it, or what concerns do you have that would make you steer clear?
You can add your comment below to this blog post, or on any of the social media sites where this article will be posted.
For making the time to think about this and comment, you will be entered into a drawing for a $75 gift certificate good for anything on our website. Winner will be notified May 31st, 2015.
If you'd like to receive a sample of the Centri-Cutie to evaluate in your own lab, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide full shipping information.