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Nucleic acid separation can be fickle. DNA is fragile, and RNA even more so. Many commercial kits are designed to streamline the process, but they may not result in high yield or high purity DNA or RNA every time. Every laboratory is different; working habits vary, and experimental goals are not identical. It is tempting to rely on a single kit for routine isolation of genetic material because it is familiar, your lab may have published previous work with an established protocol, or you might not have the luxury or freedom to try something new. However, if you are experiencing consistently low RNA or DNA yield or purity then you may be able to justify taking time to gain a deeper understanding of the process, familiarizing yourself with the tools available, and possibly reworking your strategy.

Free download: Magnetic DNA purification

Even if your current isolation strategy is performing adequately it may be worthwhile to investigate recent developments in the field. New technology such as magnetic DNA purification could potentially:

  • increase the specificity of extraction
  • decrease isolation time
  • increase throughput
  • even automate the process.

Isolation and purification of DNA and RNA is a fundamental procedure in the modern laboratory, and the high cost of sequencing technology means it is essential to consistently extract pure, high-quality genetic material every time.

Additionally, the explosion of nanotechnology in the past decade has created an incubator for the creation of new biomedical diagnostic devices. New methods to isolate nucleic acid have improved our ability to quickly diagnose disease. Sample collection and diagnosis can occur at the point of care without being transferred to a laboratory. By eliminating the need for traditional culture methods the time from sample collection to diagnosis is a fraction of what it used to be. Such point-of-care rapid diagnostic systems are in demand, and the market has room for creative solutions and growth.  

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Lluis M. Martínez | SEPMAG Chief Scientific Officer

Founder of SEPMAG, Lluis holds a PhD in Magnetic Materials by the UAB. He has conducted research at German and Spanish academic institutions. Having worked in companies in Ireland, USA and Spain, he has more than 20 years of experience applying magnetic materials and sensors to industrial products and processes. He has filed several international patents on the field and co-authored more than 20 scientific papers, most of them on the subject of magnetic particle movement.

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