Cellular and molecular experiments require a broad range of biochemical reagents for proper maintenance and analysis. Preparation for in vitro studies also necessitates culture media so that cells can proliferate to the required density and quantity necessary for an efficient and reliable investigation.
Cell culture media options vary in their constituents and are specifically manufactured to meet the demands of particular cell lines (e.g. mammalian) or techniques (e.g. transfections). Popular classes include DMEM, RPMI 1640, MEM, IMDM, Opti-MEM and DMEM/F-12.
• Channel Blockers – Impede ion channels present on cell membranes, useful for monitoring cell signaling. The most common are calcium and potassium channel blockers
• Chelators – e.g. EDTA, form a complex with metal ions; aid in preventing metal interference
• Detergents – solubilize hydrophobic molecules
• Stains – Help distinguish specific nucleic acids, proteins or organelles under the microscope, which would be otherwise difficult to visualize
• Buffers – Protect samples by resisting changes in pH. Also, block non-specific antibody binding and help track proteins during electrophoresis
• Inhibitors – Block or minimize target molecules from either; binding their complementary agonist, or carrying out a certain reaction. For example, they act as antagonists against enzymes; preventing binding of the substrate
• Drugs – Target a molecule or pathway to elicit a beneficial change
Lab Disinfectants remove contaminants to provide the clean or sterile conditions necessary for in vitro studies or delicate procedures such as RNA extraction; which requires an RNase-free environment. Common disinfectants include ethanol, oxidizing agents, and surfactants.