A Perfect Ten

Gentra Systems' AUTOPURE LS™ Nucleic Acid Purification System Automated nucleic acid purification systems capable of handling small samples (up to 1 ml) have become a time- and money-saving asset in recent years. However, clinical laboratories and clinical research groups requiring larger sample volumes have had to rely on time-consuming manual methods to purify nucleic acids--until now. Gentra Systems of Minneapolis has introduced the AUTOPURE LS system, the first instrument capable of is

Nov 27, 2000
Aileen Constans


Gentra Systems' AUTOPURE LS Nucleic Acid Purification System
Automated nucleic acid purification systems capable of handling small samples (up to 1 ml) have become a time- and money-saving asset in recent years. However, clinical laboratories and clinical research groups requiring larger sample volumes have had to rely on time-consuming manual methods to purify nucleic acids--until now. Gentra Systems of Minneapolis has introduced the AUTOPURE LS system, the first instrument capable of isolating and purifying DNA and RNA from sample volumes of up to 10 ml.

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 (aconstans@the-scientist.com)

For More Information
Gentra Systems
(800) 866-3039
www.gentra.com