This section provides an overview for sample tubes as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 sample tube manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A sample tube is test tubes used in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and other experiments and research to culture, store samples and reagents, and set samples in centrifuges and analytical instruments.
Capacity, shape, and material vary depending on the application.
Shapes include round-bottomed tubes, flat-bottomed tubes, conical tubes with conical bottoms, and conical spits (spitz tubes) with pointed bottoms.
Materials include synthetic resins such as polypropylene and polystyrene, tempered hard glass, and borosilicate glass.
Sample tubes are used in research and medical settings for experiments in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. They include centrifuge tubes for centrifugation and test tubes dedicated for analysis used in various analytical instruments.
Microtubes are sample tubes for handling samples ranging from microliters to milliliters, PCR tubes for PCR, and stock tubes with volume scales.
Sample tubes are used for various tests, such as immunoserology and bacteriology, tissue and cell culture, and storage of reagents and samples.
Cryo tubes used for cryopreservation are also type of sample tubes.
Generally, sample tubes do not stand on their own, but are placed upright on a tube rack.
Sample tubes used as centrifuge tubes are mainly conical tubes, spits, and microtubes.
Microtubes are often called "Eppendorf" or "Eppen" after the Eppendorf company that first sold them.
Sample tubes are available in both unsterilized and sterilized versions, with the sterilized versions usually being pyrogen-free and endotoxin-free. Pyrogen is a polysaccharide derived from microorganisms and is a thermogenic substance, while endotoxin is the major pyrogenic substance. In cell culture, pyrogen-free and endotoxin-free sample tubes are used because they affect cell activity in various ways.
When dealing with DNA and RNA, DNase-free and RNase-free are used.
Polypropylene is suitable for tests that require stability to temperature and chemicals, while polystyrene, with its high transparency, is suitable for observing samples inside tubes.
In the field of molecular biology, the volume of solutions handled is often in microliters. Therefore, smaller containers than the 3/4" diameter test tubes commonly used in chemistry experiments are needed. In addition, disposable micro tubes made of synthetic resin are used to improve experimental efficiency and prevent contamination.
Micro tubes are micro centrifuge tubes and are available in 2mL, 1.5mL, 0.6mL, and 0.2mL capacities.
The cap is connected to the body and is lockable. Microtubes with dome-shaped caps have thinner side walls to allow rapid heat transfer from the thermal cycler and are commonly used for PCR (PCR tubes).
When putting on the lid, push the lid all the way down so that it is horizontal and locked in place. The back (inside) of the lid should not be touched by fingers because the sample solution is in direct contact with it. Finger contact may contaminate the sample.
Microtubes are sometimes used for centrifuging samples or performing PCR, as well as for dispensing and storing samples and reagents.
Microtube stands (tube racks) are commercially available that match the capacity (size) of the microtubes.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including those that can be connected horizontally or stacked, two-tiered ones with steps, and those with covers to restrain the tube lids. Many products can be autoclaved or frozen at -80°C. They are used not only for experiments but also for storing samples and reagents.
In addition to stands for the same volume, there are also products that have holes of different diameters on four sides and can be set up according to the nature of the experiment, from 1.5mL microtubes to 50mL centrifuge tubes.
The rack for 02mL (200µL) PCR tubes has 96 holes and can be set with 8 and 12 tubes. In general, they can be autoclaved and cryopreserved.
In the field of molecular biology, processing is often performed at low temperatures. Some tube racks are made of aluminum, which can be pre-chilled to cool faster and reach lower temperatures than when inserted directly into ice.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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