The Thermo Scientific KingFisher 96 uses magnetic rods to move samples bound to magnetic beads through the various purification phases—binding, mixing, washing, and incubation. This means that liquid handling during the extraction is not required since all the solutions and buffers required are prefilled into whichever arrangement is required. As a result, the KingFisher 96 can purify 96 samples in 15–30 minutes.
The magnetic rods are covered by disposable tip combs, which can be placed in two positions: over the magnet or extending from the end of the rod. With the tip comb over a magnet it can actually descend into the sample rather than to the side of the well. By doing this, it is the sample that is moved to the next buffer rather than just the solution that is changed within the same well, ensuring that there is virtually no carryover between steps.
Alternatively, with the tip comb fixed to the end of the rod, it can be used to agitate the sample without any magnetic attraction of the sample, to provide homogenous distribution of the sample in the buffer. Furthermore, sample cross contamination and reagent cross over is effectively eliminated due to the technology.
CCHRF has performed a number of evaluation processes and ongoing quality-control studies on the introduction of the Thermo Scientific KingFisher 96 using typical sources including rodent tissues, blood, buccal swabs/brushes, as well as already purified DNA needing repurification. The versatility of the magnetic bead-based protocols available also enabled CCHRF to assess a number of RNA and protein-isolation procedures.