Where Did All the Sterile 250mL Conical Centrifuge Bottles Go?

Where Did All the Sterile 250mL Conical Centrifuge Bottles Go?

Not a day goes by that we do not field requests for sterile 250mL conical bottom centrifuge tubes.

Prior to the COVID pandemic inquiries for these oddly shaped centrifuge tubes were infrequent but have suddenly exploded leaving many research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies scrambling for alternatives.

Corning Life Sciences is one of the key suppliers of 250mL sterile conical bottom centrifuge tubes.

Back in April of 2020 Corning relocated their main warehouse and this disrupted supply chains that were already under strain from the onset of the pandemic.

With Corning knocked out of the picture, the burden was left to be carried by smaller distributors like Stellar Scientific.

Many months into the supply shortage a hint was given that suggested there was more to the story than just the Corning warehouse snafu.

A disgruntled caller muttered something about “Johnson and Johnson adenovirus vaccine” being responsible for draining the world of these 250mL conical centrifuge tubes.

This made our team curious to know more and this lead to a very informative exchange on LinkedIN with several respected scientists who helped fill out the picture.

It turns out our unhappy caller was probably right.

Kevin Fuller, a Research and Project Manager at the University of Chicago, suggested these 250mL conical centrifuge tubes would be critical for production of the J&J vaccine, specifically:

“This would be the step where you centrifuge to pellet the adenovirus infected cells into the bottom of this tube. 

Need high volume, need high density plastic for high rpms, and conical bottom is ideal for larger pellets. Later, you will isolate the virus on a sucrose gradient.

Centivax and D-bio founder Jacob Glanville thought it possible, but perhaps only at a research level and not production level.

Jacob shared:

"Centrifugation of ~100ml cultures for pellet or supe capture. 

We would use something like that for phage virus harvest so I suspect that could be also used for research grade adenovirus, SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus and even wt and variant CoV2 as well. 

Could also be oncolytic viruses and gene therapy delivery of viral-like particles. All of those involve harvesting a decent amount of virus. 

I don’t know enough about GMP manufacture requirements for adenovirus vectors but I would assume the scale would be larger and their endotox etc requirements for the containers might be different, so I’m suspecting this is research grade activities."

To address the shortage Stellar Scientific has identified supplier partners with production capabilities to manufacture and deliver sterile 250mL conical centrifuge tubes.

Visit the Specialty Centrifuge Tube page on our website to view our 250mL centrifuge tube options.

Shipments begin arriving in May and throughout the Summer to relieve pressure on the supply chain.