Getting started in a laboratory can be overwhelming for many new researchers. With so many different containers and machines to learn about, it can be extremely difficult to remember all of the proper procedures. When you are looking to order for your laboratory though, you do not have the luxury of this excuse. Instead, you need to be on top of your game and remember exactly what is necessary to conduct the research you are working on.
This means paying close attention to the equipment you are ordering to ensure that it is up to the task at hand. If you are planning on reusing bottles, you want to make sure they are autoclavable. If you are hoping to store a material that will eat through plastic, you need glass. Similarly, when it comes to using a scintillation counter you need to order scintillation vials.
Using a Scintillation Counter
Just as you would not use a regular glass container to store something cryogenically, you must also be careful not to use the wrong container when using your scintillation counter. Unlike a typical sample vial, scintillation vials were made specifically to be used with a counter, making it the ideal storage container. This will help you conduct your research without having to worry about faulty storage units or potentially skewing your results.
Selecting the Right Vials
When it comes to scintillation vials, there are a variety of different options available, each depending on your specific use. Like any other container in your laboratory, it is important that you consider the materials you are storing within the vials and whether or not you want to reuse them. This is especially important in the case of plastic vials, which are much more difficult to clean. With that in mind, be careful when making your selection.
Among the different scintillation vials on the market, there are three that are most common:
- HDPE: High-density polyethylene is commonly used for its strength and durability in the laboratory, but it does have its limits.
- PET: Polyethylene terephthalate acts as a utility container in many cases, but since it is plastic you must use caution.
- Glass: Depending on where you get them from, this could have a slightly different structure, but glass is traditionally used because of it can hold almost any material.
Beyond just looking at the vial material, you must also consider whether you want a liner, a foil liner, or no liner at all. Since different research outcomes might have different needs, it is important that you stock your laboratory with all of the right scintillation vials. The last thing you want is to be working with the scintillation counter and losing your material due to containment issues. This not only causes a safety issue, but it can also be extremely costly.
Once you know exactly what type of scintillation vials you need to order, you must then make sure that you are getting them from the best supply company. You are working with sensitive equipment, so it is important that you make the right choice to ensure the longevity of your materials and the success of your research.