Generally, the time lag in biomagnetic separations is in the actual separation. Roche Applied Science(www.roche-applied-science.com) is working to expand biomagnetic separations’ versatility by evolving the MagNAPure line of separation systems to accommodate a wider variety of sample materials. The most recent introductions are improved RNA isolation kits for its MagNA Pure LC and MagNA Pure Compact Systems.
The MagNAPure LC is a medium- to high-throughput separation system that handles between one and 32 samples in a single isolation run. "It includes protocols, reagents, and consumables for automated isolation of DNA, RNA, mRNA, and total nucleic acids from a variety of sample types, including blood, plasma/serum, tissue, cultures, cells, and bacteria," according to Steve Thomas, product manager, genomics systems instrumentation.
New offerings include the MagNA Pure LC RNA Isolation KitHigh Performance, "for efficient recovery of total RNA from RNase-rich sample types," Thomas notes.
"The MagNAPure LC handles all types of nucleic acid separations," Thomas says, and can perform user-defined post-isolation pipetting for nucleic acid dilution or PCR setup. Once the isolation is complete, the nucleic acid can be eluted to a single 32-well sample container, individual tubes, standard 96-well PCR plates, or into glass capillaries.
The newest system in the MagnaPure family, the MagNAPure Compact, runs up to eight samples simultaneously and has been designed for ease of use while ensuring both quality and quantity of results. This automated system features a UV light for decontamination, sensors to detect specimen clotting, and prefilled reagents and nuclease-free disposables for rapid setup. Liquefied samples are loaded onto the Compact in 2-mL tubes with output eluted into new 2-mL screw-cap tubes. Run time ranges from about 22 to 45 minutes, depending upon the isolation protocol and starting material.
Both the MagnaPure LC and the MagnaPure Compact have windows, allowing researchers to watch the action and visually confirm the status of the separation. Additional shared features include an integrated HEPA, a bar-code scanner, and user-friendly software, Thomas says. To further save time, protocols are already loaded, so there is no need to shut down the system for reagent or protocol changes.
"The biomagnetic particle market is maturing," Owen says, "and is dominated by a few companies." Room for competition remains, however, as does room for improvement.