Lab Equipment List for Biochemistry Research

Biochemistry offers a microscopic view of the molecular engines that drive life, delving into the complex chemical processes within and around living organisms. Through biochemistry, we can observe and study the interactions between enzymes and substrates and the vast networks of metabolites found throughout cells.

Researchers in the field of biochemistry aim to unravel the molecular narratives underpinning health and disease, ultimately improving healthcare outcomes for patients and the overall quality of life for everyone.

Pursuing these goals, however, is impossible without the right set of tools. Just as a carpenter relies on hammers and saws to shape wood, biochemists depend on various laboratory equipment to dissect, analyze, and reconstruct the biochemical processes.

From centrifugation that separates cellular components to spectroscopy that unveils the nuances of molecular interactions, each instrument plays a crucial role in the biochemist’s quest to understand the chemistry of life.

This blog post will explore the essential lab equipment that powers biochemistry research. Whether it’s amplifying a strand of DNA with a PCR machine, culturing new microbes in an incubator, or dissecting the pathways of cellular metabolism through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), we’ll guide you through some of the instruments we believe are not merely tools but levers to discovery and innovation in biochemistry.

Excedr leases all of the equipment we list here, so if you’re interested in acquiring new or refurbished equipment for your AgBio research, we can help.

Core Laboratory Equipment for Biochemistry

The foundation of any biochemistry lab includes equipment that enables researchers to prepare samples, analyze biochemical compounds, and gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of life. Each piece serves a unique purpose, contributing to the broader goal of understanding and manipulating biochemical processes:

  • Centrifuges separate and purify.
  • Spectrophotometers quantify and identify.
  • PCR machines amplify and elucidate.

Here’s an overview of the laboratory equipment we believe is vital for biochemistry research.


Centrifugation is a cornerstone technique in biochemistry for separating mixtures based on density. From benchtop centrifuges for routine sample processing to ultracentrifuges capable of generating extremely high speeds, these devices are indispensable for isolating cells, subcellular organelles, proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses. They facilitate the purification and concentration of biomolecules, allowing for further analysis and experimentation.

Spectrophotometers & Colorimeters

Spectrophotometers are critical for quantifying a sample’s DNA, RNA, proteins, and concentration of other biochemical compounds. By measuring the absorbance or transmission of light through a sample at specific wavelengths, researchers can deduce the concentration of substances with high precision. 

Colorimeters, while more straightforward, operate on similar principles and are used for assays that involve color changes, such as enzyme activity measurements. Colorimetric assays are often used in biochemistry.

PCR Machines

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines, or thermocyclers, are pivotal in amplifying segments of DNA or RNA, making them essential tools for genetic analysis, cloning, and diagnostic testing. 

PCR machines have become a staple in biochemistry labs for studying gene expression and mutations and conducting molecular cloning by enabling the exponential replication of target DNA sequences.

Advanced Analytical Instruments Used in Biochemistry

As biochemists dive deeper into the complexities of biological systems, they start relying on various advanced analytical instruments to dissect the minutiae of molecular interactions, structures, and functions. These sophisticated tools allow for the detailed characterization of biomolecules, offering insights into their roles within living organisms.

Utilizing these advanced analytical instruments in biochemistry enhances the accuracy and depth of research and propels the field further in the pursuit of groundbreaking discoveries. By enabling the detailed analysis of biomolecules and their functions, these tools open new avenues for understanding the biochemical basis of life and disease, paving the way for innovative therapeutic strategies and diagnostic approaches.

Here’s an overview of the specialized equipment that plays a pivotal role in advanced R&D within biochemistry labs.

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) & Gas Chromatograph Systems

HPLC and gas chromatography are powerful techniques for separating, identifying, and quantifying compounds within a mixture. HPLC is beneficial in biochemistry for analyzing amino acids, peptides, proteins, and nucleotides, enabling researchers to study the composition of complex biological samples. On the other hand, gas chromatography is essential for volatile compounds analysis and is often used in metabolomics studies to identify metabolic pathways and intermediates. 

These systems are critical for purifying and characterizing biochemical substances, providing a deeper understanding of biochemical processes.

Mass Spectrometers

Mass spectrometry has become an indispensable tool in biochemistry for determining the mass-to-charge ratio of ions, offering precise molecular weight information and structural insights. 

Coupled with chromatography techniques (LC-MS/MS, GC-MS), mass spectrometers can identify and quantify unknown compounds, elucidate chemical structures, and analyze the composition of complex mixtures. This technology is crucial for proteomics studies, enabling the identification and quantification of proteins in biological samples and understanding post-translational modifications.

Fluorescence Microscopes & Luminescence Analyzers

Fluorescence and luminescence microscopy are critical for visualizing and studying biomolecules’ localization, movement, and interactions within cells. By tagging molecules with fluorescent or luminescent markers, researchers can observe the dynamic processes of life at the molecular level. 

These instruments are essential for cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry studies, providing insights into cellular mechanisms, protein-protein interactions, and gene expression patterns.

Sample Preparation & Storage

Carefully preparing and storing samples in biochemistry research is as critical as the experiments. Proper handling ensures the integrity of samples for analysis, while appropriate storage conditions preserve their biological and chemical properties over time. 

By maintaining the quality and stability of samples, researchers can ensure the reliability and reproducibility of their experiments. 

Here’s a look at essential equipment for sample preparation and storage in a biochemistry lab.

Incubators & Cell Culture Equipment

Incubators are vital for cultivating and maintaining cell cultures, bacterial colonies, or microbial cultures under controlled conditions. They allow researchers to manipulate the environment — temperature, humidity, CO2 levels — to mimic natural biological settings, which is crucial for experiments involving living cells. 

Cell culture equipment, including flasks, dishes, and bioreactors, supports the growth and study of cells in vitro, facilitating research into cellular functions, drug responses, and genetic engineering.

Autoclaves & Sterilization Equipment

Ensuring sterility is paramount in biochemistry labs to prevent contamination that could compromise experimental results. Autoclaves use high-pressure steam to sterilize laboratory instruments, glassware, and biological waste, eliminating all forms of microorganisms, including spores. 

Other sterilization equipment, such as UV chambers and hot air ovens, also play a role in maintaining aseptic conditions for sensitive biochemical assays.

Refrigeration & Freezing Equipment

Biochemical reagents, samples, and cultures often require specific temperatures to remain stable and viable. Refrigerators and freezers set to various temperatures (-20°C, -80°C, and liquid nitrogen storage) are essential for preserving enzymes, nucleic acids, proteins, and cell lines. 

Proper refrigeration and freezing equipment ensure that these biological materials retain their activity and integrity until they are needed for experiments.

Measuring & Mixing Solutions

Precision in preparing biochemical solutions is fundamental to biochemistry research, where the exact concentration of reagents can significantly influence experimental outcomes. This section focuses on the lab equipment for accurately measuring and mixing solutions, ensuring that biochemical assays and reactions are conducted under optimal conditions.

Pipettes, Glassware, & Liquid Handling Systems

Pipettes are the quintessential tools for accurate liquid measurement and transfer in the lab. They ensure precise volume control from manual pipettes for single transfers to electronic and multi-channel pipettes for high-throughput applications. Glassware, such as volumetric flasks, beakers, and graduated cylinders, is indispensable for preparing and storing solutions. 

For more automated and high-volume experiments, liquid handling systems can automate pipetting tasks, increasing efficiency and reproducibility in assays and sample preparation.

pH Meters

The pH of a solution can dramatically affect the behavior of biomolecules; enzymes, for example, have optimal pH ranges where they are most active. pH meters provide accurate, real-time measurements of solution acidity or alkalinity, essential for preparing buffers and media that mimic physiological conditions or optimize reaction environments.

Temperature Control Systems

Many biochemical reactions require precise temperature control to proceed correctly or to be halted at a specific moment. Equipment like water baths, heating blocks, and thermomixers allow researchers to maintain or change the temperature of samples and reagents accurately. 

These systems are crucial for enzyme kinetics studies, nucleic acid denaturation and renaturation, and any process where temperature plays a key role in determining the outcome.

The ability to measure and manipulate the physical properties of solutions—volume, pH, and temperature—is foundational to biochemistry research. This equipment not only facilitates the preparation of experimental setups but also ensures that the conditions under which biochemical reactions occur are precisely controlled. 

Accurate measuring and mixing are pivotal in achieving reproducible results and advancing our understanding of biochemical processes.

Supporting Technologies & Equipment

Beyond essential and specialized instruments for experiments, biochemistry labs are also equipped with supporting technologies that can help streamline workflows, enhance data analysis, and ensure safety and efficiency. This infrastructure, often operating behind the scenes, helps labs run more smoothly. 

Here’s an overview of some supporting technologies and equipment that are often indispensable to biochemistry research.

Microplate Readers

Microplate readers epitomize efficiency in the biochemistry lab, allowing for the simultaneous analysis of multiple samples across various assays. These instruments can measure absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence, which are pivotal for high-throughput screening in drug discovery, kinetic studies, and enzyme activity assays. 

Their versatility and automation capabilities make them invaluable for accelerating research and increasing throughput.

Electrophoresis Equipment

Gel electrophoresis systems, including agarose and polyacrylamide gel setups, are essential for separating and analyzing nucleic acids and proteins based on size and charge. This technique is fundamental for DNA fingerprinting, RNA profiling, and protein purity assessment. 

Alongside, blotting equipment, such as Western, Northern, and Southern blot apparatus, enables the transfer and detection of specific biomolecules, furthering the characterization of genetic material and proteins.

Calorimeters & Spectroscopy Equipment

Calorimetry measures the heat released or absorbed during chemical reactions, providing insights into enzyme kinetics, ligand-binding, and metabolic changes. Spectroscopy equipment, including IR, UV-Vis, and NMR spectrometers, offers a window into biochemical compounds’ molecular structure and interactions. 

These analytical techniques are critical for understanding the energetics and dynamics of biochemical systems.

Safety & Maintenance Equipment

Fume hoods and biological safety cabinets protect researchers from hazardous substances and prevent contamination of sensitive experiments. 

Regular maintenance and calibration of lab equipment are also vital, ensuring accuracy and reliability in experimental results. Equipment such as autoclaves for sterilization and cleaning and calibration tools help maintain a safe and efficient research environment.

Supporting technologies in a biochemistry lab augments researchers’ capabilities and ensures that experiments are conducted under optimal and safe conditions. By integrating these technologies, biochemistry labs can enhance their research output, maintain high accuracy and safety standards, and pave the way for discoveries and innovations in the field.

The Backbone of Biochemistry Research

Biochemistry research is an often arduous journey through the molecular underpinnings of life. But this journey can reveal the nuances of interactions between atoms and molecules that constitute living organisms. 

This type of research, however, would not be possible without the array of laboratory equipment and technologies designed to measure, analyze, and manipulate biochemical substances. From fundamental tools like pipettes and centrifuges to advanced instruments like mass spectrometers and microplate readers, each piece of equipment plays a crucial role in deciphering the biochemical processes that drive life.

As we’ve reviewed the essential lab equipment list for biochemistry research, it’s clear that these tools are more than just accessories; they can be the backbone of scientific discovery in the field. They enable researchers to dive further into the molecular realm, offering a glimpse into the complexity of biological systems that were once beyond reach.

 The precision and efficiency provided by this equipment not only accelerate research but also enhance the reproducibility and reliability of experimental results, paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries and innovations.

In biochemistry's dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, staying at the forefront of research demands access to the latest and most reliable lab equipment. 

Whether it’s for unraveling the mysteries of enzyme kinetics, developing new drugs, or understanding the genetic basis of diseases, the right instruments can make all the difference. As the field continues to grow and tackle new challenges, equipping labs with high-quality, versatile, and advanced instruments remains paramount.

Take the next step in advancing your research. Contact Excedr today to learn more about our equipment leasing options for biochemistry research, accelerate your R&D, and unlock the full potential of your scientific endeavors.

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