60 Years of Eppi™: Eppendorf's Commitment to Advancing Scientific Discovery 

For six decades, Eppendorf Tubes™, affectionately known as 'Eppis™', have been a cornerstone of laboratory consumables. As the first single-use microcentrifuge tube introduced to the market, the Eppi has sold over a billion units worldwide and has become a synonym for microcentrifuge tubes. Moreover, the creation of the Eppi led to the development of a full range of Eppendorf Tubes, along with compatible lab devices and consumables that have set the global standard for quality and performance.

Small Solutions for Big Problems

The introduction of the Eppi revolutionized the way scientists handle small quantities, reducing the volumes of expensive reagents and precious samples required. Tube 3810, as it was officially called before it gained the nickname of Eppi, provided a solution for sample mixing, storage and centrifugation, and led to significant advances in molecular biology and medicine. For example, within a decade of the first Eppi being manufactured, both gene cloning and PCR were developed, as well as life-saving vaccines for hepatitis B and meningitis.

Beyond the Eppi: From Tube to Centrifuge

As the popularity of the Eppi grew, scientists found a need for a range of benchtop lab devices and consumables that were compatible with this new size of tube. In response, Eppendorf™ developed the microliter system to offer full sample processing solutions for microliter volumes. This range consisted of a mixer and centrifuge as well as Eppendorf Tubes, which remained at the core of laboratory work and the Eppendorf product portfolio. Moreover, since its creation in 1964, the microliter system has expanded even further to include the current range of pipettes, centrifuges, and mixers complimented by Eppendorf Tubes and pipette tips to process sample volumes ranging from 0.2mL to 50mL. Furthermore, the innovations didn’t stop there and Eppendorf set out to take its offering a step further, developing new and improved Eppendorf Tubes that could solve some of the key issues holding scientists back. With the development of new materials, designs, and closure systems, the Eppendorf Tubes range grew to meet the needs of different applications.

Scientific Revolution from Eppi Evolution

Notable developments in Eppi design include Safe-Lock Tubes that prevent unintentional lid opening during centrifugation, incubation, and storage, as well as a new quality standard for Eppendorf Tubes known as the Biopur™ standard. This remains the industry standard today and ensures the maximum level of purity by guaranteeing that Eppendorf Tubes are free of pyrogens, RNases, DNases, DNA, ATP, and PCR inhibitors. The next major milestone was the development of DNA and Protein LoBind™ Tubes, which enable almost complete recovery of DNA, RNA, proteins, and viruses. These tubes are especially useful for challenging nucleic acid or protein experiments that involve valuable samples and reagents.

Such enhancements have contributed significantly to the efficiency, accuracy, and safety of scientific research. For example, Safe-Lock Tubes prevent sample loss during centrifugation, incubation, transit, and storage, thus providing scientists with extra safety and assurance when storing precious samples and handling hazardous substances. This can be particularly critical when sending samples to other facilities for collaboration purposes or outsourcing.

What Could the Next 60 Years Hold for Eppendorf Tubes?

More recently, Eppendorf has focused on inventions that address the challenges of a changing world. As a company committed to producing advanced technologies, premium products, and services that enhance human living standards, a key focus is increasing sustainability. Eppendorf is striving to help lessen the impact of climate change on future generations by reducing the environmental impact of single-use lab consumables. In 2022, Eppendorf Biobased™ Tubes were introduced. These tubes are made of 90% recycled raw materials, improving the sustainability of everyday lab consumables without compromising on product quality or performance.

Looking back over the past 60 years, the Eppi and the resulting innovations by Eppendorf evidence the dedication and commitment of the company to developing novel products that help scientists achieve their research goals. Therefore, there is no doubt that, in the future, Eppendorf will continue to lead the industry in developing new technologies and products that are designed to improve experimental outcomes and push the boundaries of scientific discovery.


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