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assays, kits, and reagents
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Purchasing Guide: Assays, Kits, and Reagents

Assays, kits, and reagents are an important fixture in life science, environmental, and research labs

by Lab Manager
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Assays, kits, and reagents are an important fixture in life science, environmental, and research labs. Assay kits conveniently provide most or all of the materials needed to conduct specific tests, which may require complex or hard-to-develop components like enzymes and antibodies. It is very important to purchase assays, kits, and reagents from trusted sources, as poor quality components can alter experimental outcomes and reduce reliability. For a full list of laboratory assay, kit, and reagent manufacturers, see our online directory:

7 Questions to Ask When Buying Assays, Kits, and Reagents:

  1. Do the reagents need to be pure for the intended application?

  2. Are there additional compliance requirements such as use of the same lot for the duration of an extended experiment?
  3. How consistent and reliable are the results from different lots?
  4. Is the assay, kit, or reagent compatible with existing lab equipment?
  5. Does the assay, kit, or reagent reduce lab work time to implement?
  6. Are there potential contaminants from the packaging that might affect the outcome of the intended experiments? Do these contaminants pose an environmental threat that require specialty disposal? 
  7. What is the unit price per test?

Purchasing Tip

Though it may be tempting to purchase inexpensive reagents to reduce running costs, it is important to consider the reputation of manufacturers and their quality control measures. Does the manufacturer report transparency and reliable quality control? To ensure integrity of experiments and reliability of results, purchase reagents from trusted manufacturers who go the extra mile in ensuring high-quality products.

Considerations for Acquiring Custom Kits

While premade kits often suit experimental needs, sometimes research demands the use of custom kits. What must lab managers consider when buying custom kits? This article outlines a variety of factors to consider, including manufacturing, quality control, sample integrity, and more: