Storage & Handling of Lipids

The following statements pertain specifically to Avanti’s lipid products for research and should not necessarily be applied to cGMP lipids intended for pharmaceutical or diagnostic applications.

Organic Solutions

Phospholipids supplied as an organic solution should be stored in a glass container layered with argon or nitrogen at  -20°C ± 4°C. Storage of organic solutions below -30°C is not recommended unless the solution is packaged in a sealed glass ampoule. The closure for the vial should be lined with teflon. Organic solutions should never be stored in polymer or plastic containers (polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, etc.) as this will leach impurities out of the container. Lipids in water can be stored in plastic.

Transferring organic solutions

Always use glass, stainless steel, or teflon to transfer lipids stored as organic solutions.

  • Do NOT use plastic pipet tips to transfer organic solutions of lipids*.
  • Do NOT use Eppendorf tubes with organic solvents
  • Do NOT use Parafilm with organic solvents


Phospholipids supplied as a powder should be handled as described below.

Saturated lipids

Lipids composed of fatty acids that are completely saturated (e.g., dimyristoyl or dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine) are stable as powders. These lipids should be stored in a glass container with a teflon closure at ≤ -16°C. When transferring a portion of the material out of the container, remove the container from the freezer and allow the material to reach room temperature before opening the bottle.

Unsaturated or tissue derived lipids

Lipids composed of fatty acids containing one or more double bonds (e.g., dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine or egg phosphatidylcholine) are not stable as powders. These lipids are extremely hygroscopic as powders and will quickly absorb moisture and become gummy upon opening the container. This could result in hydrolysis or oxidation of the material. These lipids should be dissolved in a suitable organic solvent, transferred to a glass container with a teflon closure, and stored at  -20°C ± 4°C. Storage of organic solutions below -30°C is not recommended unless the solution is packaged in a sealed glass ampoule.

Avanti LIPID MAPS Mass Spectrometry Internal Lipid Standards

  • These products are designed to be one time use items .
    • Direct transfer from ampoule to experiment or prepare as a dilution for immediate use is suggested.
    • Handling guidelines for lipids should be considered as outlined above.
  • These products must be stored at ≤ -16°C.
  • Avanti does not guarantee product purity and subsequent performance when used outside these guidelines and single use / immediate use design.


Phospholipids should not be stored for long periods of time as aqueous suspensions. Storage of lipids in an excess of water results in hydrolysis of the sample.


  • McDonald, J.G., C.L. Cummins, R.M. Barkley, B.M. Thompson, and H.A. Lincoln. (2008).
  • Identification and quantitation of sorbitol-based nuclear clarifying agents extracted from common laboratory and consumer plasticware made of polypropylene. Anal Chem 80:5532-41. [PubMed]
  • Pidgeon, C., Apostol, G., & Markovich, R. (1989). Fourier transform infrared assay of membrane lipids immobilized to silica: leaching and stability of immobilized artificial membrane-bonded phases. Analytical Biochemistry 181, 28-32. [PubMed]


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