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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Jun;90(6):697-703. doi: 10.1139/y2012-049. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

On the disruption of biochemical and biological assays by chemicals leaching from disposable laboratory plasticware.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, 9-70 Medical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada.


Plastic consumables, used universally in bioscience laboratories, are presumed inert with respect to bioassay outcomes. However, it is clear that many pipette tips, microfuge tubes, and other plastic disposables leach bioactive compounds into assay solutions, profoundly affecting data and experimental interpretation. In this paper we discuss the nature and sources of leachates and review several examples of compromised bioassay data that speak to the probable widespread nature of this largely unrecognised source of error. Strategies for minimizing leachate interferences are discussed.

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