Peptides are a highly active and sensitive compound that must be handled with great care. While peptides can be added to a variety of different solutions they cannot simply be added carelessly. If a peptide is added to the wrong solvent it can be damaged or even rendered completely useless. To avoid this, it is best to follow a set of established guidelines to ensure proper handling and success in experimentation.
Before peptides can be used they must be reconstituted from their dry powder state into a liquid solution. This process is known as lyophilization and it allows for storage of the peptide without degradation. This makes peptides more stable, easier to transport, and much easier to handle in the lab. However, once a peptide is reconstituted it must be stored correctly to retain its properties and effectiveness in experiments.
The first step in the peptide reconstitution process is to wipe down the tops of your peptide vials with an alcohol wipe as a safety precaution. After this, you can use a syringe to pull out your bacteriostatic water or sterile water from the vial. Be careful not to touch the needle of your syringe because it has been sterilized and touching it might cause contamination.
Once you have a small amount of either water or bacteriostatic water in the peptide vial, carefully inject it into the peptide. Some people may suggest that you should lightly swirl the solution in the vial but this is unnecessary and can actually do more harm than good. Once the peptide is fully dissolved, you can store it in your refrigerator for later use. If you need to do more than one experimental set, be sure to aliquot your peptide into separate vials. This will reduce the number of freeze-thaw cycles and help to prevent aggregation or precipitation.