Last Updated on October 27, 2021

Even with thorough planning, global supply chain issues have caused delays in nearly every industry, including lab supplies. Microdialysis probes and other consumables, such as pipette tips, prove difficult for researchers to source due to the globally stressed transit structures. Manufacturing and shipping are complex processes. Combined with labor issues and jammed cargo ports, the pandemic is exposing the shortcomings of a weak supply chain.

Eicom, a world leader in microdialysis and electrochemical detection, is headquartered in Japan. In business since 1986, Eicom would probably be seeing the same delays as other microdialysis providers, except for a well-planned overseas inventory structure.

Eicom’s partner in North America, Amuza, houses microdialysis inventory in San Diego, California.

“Most often Amuza is able to ship microdialysis probes with one or two days,” says CEO, Shinji Azuma. “Serving researchers is our priority.”

A broader reach for materials and a network of partners is thus far succeeding in experiencing minimal supply chain issues for Amuza. Customer Service teams can excel through staying alert for order status changes, managing stock, and keeping customers well informed. Amuza also manages the supply chain by making some items at the San Diego office, such as microdialysis tubing with pre-installed connectors. By customizing microdialysis tubing then preassembling connectors on-site, Amuza has been able to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on sourcing, giving researchers a faster turnaround.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have kept up with microdialysis product orders,” says Office Manager, Ai Cole. “If we do have to inform a customer about a delay, it has been for customs. Fortunately, we have not had the delays we hear others are experiencing.”

Business news outlet, Quartz reports, more than 2 months out, “It’s already too late to ship good to the US in time for Christmas.” Customs has been swamped this past year, and the delays are affecting both holiday gifts and lab essentials needed for research projects.

How Bad Are Delays in Microdialysis Probes?

One researcher mentioned they eventually had to switch vendors, after calling 3 different vendors trying to source microdialysis equipment.

Another said they “had to wait 3 months for a microdialysis syringe pump”.

In other conversations, users have mentioned that some models of microdialysis probes or microdialysis accessories could be back-ordered for months.

When research projects aren’t able to source products necessary for research, science suffers, medicine suffers, humanity suffers. It sounds extreme, but each scientific article published is a result of years of research using lab tools necessary to complete the work.

Without the goods, our scientists lack the tools needed to advance knowledge and discovery that advances human lives.

Most microdialysis probes and accessories are still in stock at Amuza. However, when some inventory does reach low levels, Amuza has still been able to get partial orders out the door quickly. For researchers, Cole suggests, “Ask your supplier. Some suppliers may be able to help you with partial shipments to keep your research going.” At least neuroscience research can stay moving and not halt progress.

What lab products are you finding most difficult to source? Let us know in the comments.