How To Store Peptides – Powder, Liquid, Nasal

Storing peptides can be a tricky business, especially when they are reconstituted. Let's go over the nitty gritty of how to store peptides for your safety.

Properly storing peptides is a crucial step in ensuring their longevity, stability, and effectiveness. These minuscule chains of amino acids may be small in size, but their storage needs are important to be considered.

Let’s learn the specific storage guidelines and ensure maximum outcomes from the peptides.

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Key Takeaways: 

  1. When it comes to peptides, it is important to follow specific guidelines on how to store them due to their unique structures and functions.
  2. The following review highlights key steps when storing peptides, both in solution or lyophilized. 
  3. While storing peptides, make sure you have the right temperature set in, a suitable container, a sterile environment and regular monitoring.

What Are Peptides?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins (1). They are organic compounds composed of two or more amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Amino acids are molecules that contain an amine group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH), along with a unique side chain. The sequence of amino acids determines the structure and function of a peptide. In turn, it is the peptide sequence that determines the structure of proteins. 

They play crucial roles in various biological processes, such as cell signaling, enzymatic activity, and hormone regulation. Due to their diverse functions, peptides have gained significant attention in fields like medicine, biochemistry, and biotechnology.

Peptides exhibit unique properties, including high specificity and selectivity, which make them valuable in drug discovery, diagnostics, and therapeutic applications. They can be synthesized artificially in laboratories or obtained from natural sources such as proteins, where they may serve as fragments or intermediates.

What Are The Storage Guidelines For Peptides In Solution? 

When storing peptides in solution, it is crucial to follow specific storage guidelines to maintain their stability and preserve their biological activity. For example, peptides containing Asn, Gln, Cys, Met, Trp, or Tyr are generally less stable than others. Here are some general recommendations for the storage of peptides in solution:

Temperature:

The ambient temperature to store peptides in solution is very low, typically between -20Β°C and -80Β°C. This helps slow down enzymatic activity and prevents bacterial degradation. If a freezer or cold storage is not available, the solution can be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8Β°C for short-term peptide storage, but it is important to note that stability may be compromised over time.

Aliquoting: 

Divide the peptide solution into smaller, single-use aliquots to minimize the number of freeze-thaw cycles. This helps prevent degradation and maintains the integrity of the remaining solution. This helps increase the storage life of most peptides. In fact, stock solutions are best prepared when made in dry solvents, thereby preventing premature hydrolysis of the peptides. 

Protection from light: 

Protect peptide solutions from bright light exposure, especially from UV radiation. Store them in opaque containers or wrap the containers with aluminum foil to shield the solution from light.

Buffer selection: 

Choose an appropriate buffer system for the peptide solution that provides optimal pH and stability. Consider factors such as compatibility with the peptide sequence, ion strength, and buffering capacity. 

Sterility: 

Ensure that the peptide solution is prepared and stored under sterile conditions to prevent contamination and bacterial degradation. Sterile techniques should be followed during the preparation, aliquoting, and storage processes.

Monitoring: 

Many researchers recommend regularly monitoring the stability and integrity of the peptide solution during storage. Perform quality control tests, such as HPLC or mass spectrometry, if available, to assess purity and detect any degradation or modifications.

Following these guidelines can help maximize the shelf life of peptides in solution and maintain their potency. 

What Are The Storage Guidelines for Lyophilized Peptides  

Lyophilized peptides, which are peptides in their powder form obtained through freeze-drying, require proper storage to maintain their stability and activity. Here are some general guidelines for the storage of lyophilized peptides:

Temperature: 

Store lyophilized peptides at low temperatures, typically between -20Β°C and -80Β°C. Keeping them at these temperatures helps preserve their integrity, prevents degradation, and helps in long-term storage. Avoid high temperatures and frost-free freezers at all costs! 

Moisture control: 

Protect lyophilized peptides from moisture, as exposure to humidity can lead to peptide degradation via air oxidation. Ensure that the peptide vials or containers are tightly sealed to prevent moisture ingress. It is also advisable to store the peptides in a desiccated environment, such as using desiccant packs or storing them in airtight containers with low humidity levels.

Light protection: 

Shield lyophilized peptides from light exposure, especially from UV radiation, as it can cause degradation. Store the peptide vials in opaque containers or wrap them in aluminum foil to block out light. This also enhances the storage life/shelf life of most peptides. 

Avoid frequent freeze-thaw cycles: 

Minimize the number of freeze-thaw cycles by aliquoting the lyophilized peptides into smaller portions. This helps prevent degradation caused by repeated temperature fluctuations. Store the aliquots individually and only thaw the amount needed for each use.

Proper labeling: 

Clearly label each vial or container with relevant information, including the peptide name, concentration, date of preparation, and storage conditions. This ensures easy identification and tracking of the stored peptides. Also, keep the peptides in separate vials. 

It is important to note that these guidelines are general recommendations, and specific storage requirements may vary for different peptides. Adhering to proper storage practices helps maintain the quality and efficacy of lyophilized peptides for an extended period. 

What Container Should Be Used to Store Peptides? 

The choice of container for storing peptides is crucial to ensure their stability and prevent degradation. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a container for peptide storage:

Material: 

Choose a container made of a material that is compatible with peptide storage. Common options include glass vials and high-quality plastic vials, such as polypropylene or low-binding polyethylene. These are especially effective when it comes to hydrophobic peptides.  These materials are inert and minimize the risk of adsorption or leaching that could affect peptide integrity. 

Airtightness: 

Select a container that provides airtight sealing to prevent moisture and oxygen from entering. Proper sealing helps maintain the peptide’s stability and protects it from degradation caused by air oxidation or enzymatic activity.

Chemical compatibility: 

Ensure that the container material is chemically compatible with the peptide and any accompanying solvents or buffers. Some peptides may be sensitive to certain materials, so it is important to choose a container that will not interact or react with the peptide or its storage environment.

Sterility: 

Peptide storage containers should be sterile to prevent contamination. Look for containers that are pre-sterilized or can be easily sterilized before use, such as autoclavable options. Maintaining sterility is crucial for preserving peptide integrity and preventing microbial growth leading to bacterial degradation. 

Transparency: 

While not always essential, containers that are transparent or have a clear section can be advantageous for visually inspecting the peptide solution without the need to open the container. This minimizes the risk of contamination or exposure to bright light during inspection.

Size and aliquoting: 

Consider the volume of the peptide solution and the intended usage. Choose containers that can accommodate the desired aliquot size without excessive headspace, as this helps minimize oxidation and moisture uptake.

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How To Do a Peptide Dissolution

Dissolving peptides accurately is essential to ensure their proper reconstitution and maintain their stability and activity. Here’s a general guideline on how to dissolve peptides:

Calculate the required amount: 

You can use our peptide calculator here.

Determine the desired quantity of the peptide solution and calculate the amount of peptide needed based on the molecular weight and desired final volume. Take into account any specific instructions or recommendations provided by the peptide manufacturer.

Choose a solvent: 

Select an appropriate solvent for peptide dissolution. Common solvents include sterile distilled water, saline (0.9% sodium chloride solution), or a suitable organic solvent like dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or acetonitrile. Water is often the first choice for hydrophilic peptides, while organic solvents are used for hydrophobic or poorly soluble peptides. If the peptide doesn’t dissolve, try using 10%-30% of sterile dilute acetic acid. 

Prepare the solvent: 

Ensure that the solvent is of high quality and suitable for peptide dissolution. Use sterile, purified water or solvent of appropriate purity grade. If necessary, adjust the pH of the solvent to the desired range using acid or base solutions (depending on acidic and basic peptides). 

Add the peptide: 

Gradually add the calculated amount of peptide powder to the solvent while gently swirling or stirring the solution. It is important to add the peptide slowly to promote better solubility and prevent clumping or aggregation. A clean spatula or pipette tip can be used for accurate measurement and transfer of the peptide powder.

Dissolution techniques: 

Depending on the peptide’s characteristics, additional techniques may be required to aid dissolution. These techniques include vortexing, sonication (using an ultrasonic bath), or gentle heating (using a water bath at a controlled temperature). These methods can assist in solubilizing the peptide and promoting uniform dispersion.

Filter and store: 

After complete dissolution, filter the peptide solution using a sterile syringe filter or membrane filter to remove any particulate matter or undissolved material. Transfer the solution to an appropriate storage container, ensuring it is airtight, sterile, and suitable for long-term storage. Label the container with relevant information such as peptide name, concentration, and date of preparation.

How Long Do Reconstituted Peptides Last In Fridge?

The stability of reconstituted peptides in a refrigerator can vary depending on several factors, including the specific peptide sequences, storage conditions, and the presence of additives or stabilizers.

Generally, reconstituted peptides are more prone to degradation compared to their lyophilized (powder) form, which is more stable. 

In most cases, reconstituted peptides can be stored in a refrigerator (typically at 2-8Β°C) for a limited period, usually ranging from a few days to a few weeks, to remain potent. However, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult the peptide supplier for specific storage recommendations.

To extend the shelf life of reconstituted peptides, it is common practice to aliquot them into smaller, desired quantities and store them in airtight containers to minimize exposure to moisture and contaminants.

Some peptides may also benefit from the addition of stabilizers or preservatives, such as bacteriostatic water (sterile distilled water) or specific sterile buffers, which can help maintain peptide integrity during refrigerated storage.

It is important to note that degradation rates can vary among different peptides, so it is advisable to monitor the stability of reconstituted peptides regularly, perform quality control tests if available, and use them within the recommended storage period to ensure optimal performance and reliability. 

People Also Ask

How should peptides be stored long-term?

Peptides should be stored long-term at low temperatures, typically between -20Β°C and -80Β°C, depending on the stability of the specific peptide.

Can peptides be stored at room temperature?

Storing peptides at room temperature is not recommended for long-term storage. Peptides are susceptible to degradation, and higher temperatures can accelerate this process.

How do I protect peptides from degradation during storage?

To protect peptides from degradation during storage, it is important to store them at low temperatures, shield them from light, minimize exposure to moisture, and avoid frequent freeze-thaw cycles.

Can peptides be stored in a regular refrigerator?

While a regular refrigerator can be used for short-term storage of peptides (a few days to a few weeks), it is not ideal for long-term storage. Using a dedicated peptide freezer or deep freezer is recommended for extended storage.

Should peptides be stored as powder or reconstituted solutions?

Peptides are typically supplied as lyophilized (powder) form. It is generally recommended to store peptides in their lyophilized form until ready for use. Reconstitution should be performed shortly before use to minimize degradation. Once reconstituted, peptides are generally less stable and should be used or stored as per the specific instructions provided.

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1- Forbes J, Krishnamurthy K. Biochemistry, Peptide. 2022 Aug 29. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32965931.

Contributors

Kumar Rathi

Kumar Rathi | Writer

Kartik is a medical student with a passion for anatomy and physiology. He writes research papers, articles and blogs to raise awareness and also has a strong interest in teaching and public speaking. Aspiring to be a successful cardiologist, Kartik believes in connecting with people on a personal level and is an expert in peptides.

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