Nucleic acid extraction is a critical part of molecular biology and is routinely used in many areas of biological and medical science.
Its basis – the universal principle of all nucleic extraction techniques – have been long established: the cell lysis to break the cell membranes open, the purification stage to remove contaminants and proteins, and the recovery of the DNA.
Where innovation and technology can make a difference to key processes, though, is in making nucleic acid extraction quicker, easier and by adding new levels of automation. The PSS MagLEAD systems, available in the UK exclusively from VH Bio, are one such alternative.
The end of the centrifuge?
Traditional methods of extraction/isolation include the widespread use of column/centrifugation-based techniques, in which columns use silica matrices to bind nucleic acid. This method can be used for purification of various forms of DNA, such as chromosomal, plasmid DNA, rDNA, or mitochondrial DNA.
However, it is also laborious, time-consuming, and costly when compared to other protocols, and new technologies, such as those from PSS, have now reached the market which offer alternatives to more established methods.
Magnetic beads in nucleic acid isolation
Magnetic beads technology is growing in popularity for extracting RNA and genomic, plasmid, and mitochondrial DNA. The technique involves the separation of nucleic acids from complex mixtures via complementary hybridisation.
In recent years, functionalised magnetic particle or beads have been coupled to suitable buffer systems for a rapid and efficient extraction procedure. The lack of centrifugation steps that can produce shear forces and cause breaking of nucleic acids is thought to better maintain intact longer fragments from genomic DNA.
The extraction technique can be used in batch processes with a range of samples and is easy to execute, being one of the best choices for automation and high-throughput applications.
The PSS MagLEAD 12gC and MagLEAD 6gC
High-quality nucleic acids are obtained by using in-tip magnetic bead extraction (Magtration®). Providing faster, cleaner and more efficient magnetic bead extractions for high-purity, high-yield nucleic acid recovery. Dedicated reagent cartridges and the in-tip extractions minimize plastic and reagent waste as well as reducing contamination.
The range is complemented by magDEA Dx, a nucleic acid extraction chemistry developed with fully-automated systems in mind. All extraction reagents come sealed in cartridges with everything including magnetic particles needed for extraction of nucleic acid (DNA/RNA). By combining with PSS Magtration Platforms, preparation of high quality nucleic acids is simple, efficient and accurate.
Advantages of in-tip magnetic bead extraction
The in-tip magnetic bead extraction used by PSS offers significant advantages when compared to conventional magnetic bead extraction tech. It allows complete sample protection with no outside exposure, less contamination between samples and less contamination between reagents.
How the MagLEAD systems work
Inside the magLEAD 6gC and magLEAD 12gC instruments, samples are first lysed by protease digestion in the presence of chaotropic agents. Addition of alcohol allows binding to the magnetic beads. The unique Magtration technology ensures efficient separation of magnetic beads, which are immobilized on the side of the pipette tips, while lysis and wash buffers are removed.
In the elution step, nucleic acids are released from the magnetic beads and transferred to a fresh tube. All steps are performed in a single tip per sample, minimising cross-contamination. Waste and used tips are safely disposed. This unique separation procedure ensures purification of high-quality nucleic acids.
This is a far more efficient method for nucleic acid isolation, with significant advantages over the traditional column/centrifugation tech. This becomes even more significant when automation is considered, allowing the rapid purification and scalability of many samples in parallel.