Sample Management: Collection

Sample management is key to an efficient lab. Sample collection and storage solutions should be selected based on sample type, application, and handling needs. Smart solutions facilitate sample identification, tracing, and recovery while offering ergonomic design for convenience and safety. We offer a variety of sample storage and laboratory storage solutions including vials, tubes, bottles, dishes, plates, racks, and sealing films to protect your samples and meet your lab's storage needs. We also provide tweezers and forceps, lab spatulas and spoons, and cell lifters, spreaders, and strainers for efficient sample collection.


Vials can be used for collection, storage, and transport of samples and are available in a variety of materials, sizes, and shapes with various closures for sample preservation and recovery. Glass vials are more resistant to higher temperatures and are typically more chemically inert, making them compatible with harsh detergents and solvents. Plastic vials won't shatter as easily and are available in several materials to increase chemical compatibility and autoclavability. Both types of vial are available in sterile and non-sterile versions. Vials are clear for easy sample visualization or made of amber glass or tinted plastic for samples that are sensitive to light. Colored caps enable for quick identification of samples.

Screw cap vials for low temperature storage

Freezing Vials


Tubes are used for solid or liquid sample collection, transport, storage, and testing. While some tubes are designed for general use, application-specific tubes including test tubes, culture tubes, centrifuge tubes, microcentrifuge tubes, PCR tubes, and cryotubes are designed to meet specific temperature, force, sterility, and chemical compatibility requirements. Multiple types of glass and plastic tube materials can be selected based on durability, inertness, and other characteristics. Round-bottom and conical-bottom tubes can increase sample recovery. Disposable and reusable tubes are available based on convenience and safety needs. Screw caps provide extra safety in preventing leakage and spilling. Plug closures and snap closures facilitate easier tube manipulation.


Bottles are most often used to store chemicals, solvents, and other liquids, and are available in specific shapes to suit recovery, safety, and storage needs. Bottles are made from glass for inertness or various plastics that have different chemical compatibilities. Clear glass or natural plastics allow maximum visibility. Amber-tinted glass and opaque plastics are recommended for light-sensitive materials. Bottles may be disposable or made of materials supporting autoclavability or cleaning for re-use as needed.


Racks are used to support, organize, and store various types of glassware, labware and other items. Laboratory racks are available for pipets, test tubes, microtubes, vials, petri dishes, microplates, and other labware. Racks are made from a variety of materials including plain and epoxy-coated metal, wood, and various plastics. Racks for test tubes and microtubes have openings of various sizes to accommodate specific tube diameters.

Lab racks for tubes and vials

Lab Racks


Microplates are multi-well plates used for sample storage, biochemical and cellular assays, and analytical methods. Lids, film, tape, caps, or mats can be used to seal plates during processing, incubation, or storage. Plates should be selected based on:

  • Material: Microplates are typically made of glass or plastic. Glass-bottom microplates have excellent optical properties and are typically reserved for high content cell imaging applications. Plastic-bottom plates can be used for a variety of fluorescence, colorimetric, cell culture, and cell imaging applications. Cyclic olefin plates are made of a polymer that both supports cell adherence and offers optical properties similar to glass.
  • Well number: Plates are available in 24-, 96-, 384-, and 1536-well formats depending on throughput needs and volume requirements
  • Well shape: Round-bottom wells help ensure mixing and facilitate recovery of samples when needed. Flat bottom plates are required for imaging applications.
  • Plate color: Black plates are typically used for fluorescent and high signal luminescent applications to reduce background phosphorescence and autofluorescence. White plates can be used for time-resolved fluorescence and low signal luminescence assays. Clear-bottom plates enable bottom-reading measurements and microscopic visualization.
  • Plate coatings: plates are available pre-treated for sterility or low protein binding, or coated with collagen, poly-D-lysine, and other molecules to facilitate cell attachment

Sealing Films

Films and foils provide a tight seal, protecting materials stored in tubes, plates, flasks, and other containers. Clear adhesive seals are available for sample visibility and are also provided in opaque colors for light-sensitive materials. Heat seals offer broader chemical and temperature compatibility. Flexible films including paraffin-based Parafilm® and polyethylene-based DuraSeal® films can be stretched across vessels of various shapes to prevent evaporation. Aluminum-based films are designed for sealing PCR plates and other samples under hot or cold storage conditions. Gas-permeable seals are ideal for cell culture applications when CO2 exchange is required.


Parafilm® Sealing Film for Laboratory Use