If you are buying compounds or serums online, you will notice some are sold in ampule and others are sold in vial. What’s the difference and why does it matter? Both are used for research, medical, and pharmaceutical activities, but one may be better for your needs. What is an Ampule? An ampule, or ampoule, is a small single-dose vial that has a sealed neck. Most ampules are glass but there are ampules made out of plastic. The seal on an ampule is melted onto the tip of the glass container. This creates an airtight barrier that prevents air, water, humidity, and other contaminants from contaminating the liquid or solid inside the ampule. Because of it’s strong seal, to open an ampule, you must break the seals. You cannot re-use ampules. If the seal is broken, return or throw out the ampule. How to use an Ampule? You will need a filter need when withdrawing liquids or compounds from ampules. This prevents glass from entering the needle. Break the top of the ampule to draw out the liquid before inserting the needle. What is a Vial? “Vial” is the term most often used in the medical field. A vial can be a multi-dose container for serums, compounds, and other liquids. Vials are often made from glass, and they have two distinct features from ampules: they may be sealed or not, and they are sealed with either a vial plug or screw cap. How to use a Vial To use a vial, you will need a syringe and needle. Pull the plunger back on the syringe to file it with the compound. With the needle pointed up, poke the needle into the vial. Push the plunger back down to put air into the vial and then pull the plunger back to draw the liquid into the syringe. Which is Best: Ampule or Vial? If you should use an ampule or vial depends on the use and your needs. When you use an ampule, exact volume measurements are achieved only with a syringe even though there are markings on the ampule. A vial on the other hand does offer exact measurements directly from the vial. If you mix compounds together, buy vials. If you are using a single compound, you can use ampules. Ampules will already have the compound in it, and vials will not. So, if you need a single-dose compound, an ampule is what you need. You can use the ampule and simply toss it out when you are finished. If you mix compounds, use a vial. Vials can then be sterilized and reused again. Where to Buy Ampules and Vials? When you order ampules and vials online, look for three things: domestic shipping, sterilization, bulk supply. Sterile vials for sale online come in many sizes to meet your pharmaceutical or medical needs. When you buy ampules online, they too come in various sizes, but they also ship in different colors such as clear and amber. Sizes range between 2mL and 20mL.