Article

Maximising ROI with your nucleic acid extraction system

The extraction and purification of nucleic acids is no longer the complicated, labour-intensive process that it once was. Automated extraction systems provided an excellent alternative to the traditional manual technique, permitting a high throughput of samples.

 

Because nucleic acid extraction is just the first step of a larger downstream process, any automated system needs to ensure accuracy and reproducibility, without risking cross-contamination.

 

What should your lab look for in a nucleic acid extraction system? To maximise your return on investment, three important concepts should be kept in mind: minimising handling errors, the ease and efficiency of the extraction process, and the quality of the extracted nucleic acids.

Purity and Yield

The quality of the extracted nucleic acid depends largely on the purity of the starting material, and the ability to minimise human error in the extraction process. It’s particularly important to ensure that the purified eluates are free from impurities and ready for your downstream workflow.

 

An effective nucleic acid extraction system is proven to minimise cross-contamination in mixed sample runs, allowing your lab to maximise the efficiency of each run. This delivers consistent, high-quality yields for downstream reproducible test results, improving ROI. 

Efficiency and Throughput

When you simplify sample preparation, you reduce handling errors. That’s why successful labs rely on automated nucleic acid extraction systems that minimize user intervention and reduce extraction variability. A high-quality extraction system will improve your lab’s overall efficiency.

 

An intuitive, automated system allows you to accelerate throughput and free your technicians for more complex tasks without sacrificing safety or the reproducibility of results. User-friendly, intuitive graphical user interfaces (GUI) should quickly guide you through setup for loading and start run, helping to streamline the extraction process. This increases efficiency and minimizes errors to ensure sample quality.

 

Nucleic acid extraction systems should be scalable, and able to handle as many or as few samples as needed on a given day. Time-critical small-batch samples should be able to be run quickly and cost-effectively on an accelerated timeline. Even full runs should reduce sample handling time to about an hour.

 

Look for systems that make use of a single universal reagent kit. Universal kits eliminate guesswork, and make setup quick and easy when combined with preloaded, pre-optimised protocols. Having one universal kit simplifies ordering and streamlines inventory management.

Safety

Safety systems should include capacitive liquid level detection monitors to prevent overflow and carryover contamination during pipetting. A high-quality extraction system will have safety control features, including an efficient load check and onboard surveillance to ensure the output of the highest quality eluate. A cooling block prevents eluate degradation and evaporation, and preserves the quality of extracted samples. And bar-coding can help with inventory management by tracking reagent use.

The Right System Will Maximise ROI for Your Lab

A streamlined workflow improves technician efficiency and improves output quality. Make the most of your capital equipment budget by investing in a robust nucleic acid extraction system that can stand the test of time.