Gentra Systems' AUTOPURE LS™ Nucleic Acid Purification System
The instrument uses Gentra's PUREGENE™ chemistry, which has been available as a manual DNA purification kit since 1992; it can also be adapted for use with the company's PURESCRIPT™ RNA isolation chemistry. Both methods are based on liquid-phase chemistries that eliminate the shearing that takes place with column-based preps, thus allowing users to isolate larger fragments 100-200 kb in length. The system features on-board sample tracking and can process 16 samples in a little over an hour. The average yield is greater than 350 µg per 10 ml sample of whole blood. After purification, the isolated nucleic acids can be used for any downstream application.
Ruth Shuman, president and CEO of Gentra Systems, explains that the chemistry was initially intended for manual applications and that automation of the process was challenging. "This was not the chemistry that you would start with if you were going to automate a process; there are quite a few steps [to automate]. But we've gotten our robotic instrument to repeat all of those steps, and it does it quite well," says Shuman. In fact, the manual origins of the technology may be an advantage; according to Rob Wishnowsky, vice president of sales and marketing, the AUTOPURE LS can potentially reproduce all of the 400 manual PUREGENE protocols listed on the company's Web site. "There are other instruments [on the market] at the moment that are very limited in the kinds of samples they can process and protocols they can do," says Wishnowsky.
One of the highlights of PUREGENE technology is that it is the only such product with eight years of real-time stability data (at 4°C). This feature makes it ideal for long-term archiving of nucleic acid samples, particularly for laboratories with large numbers of samples to process.
--Aileen Constans (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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