QIAGEN Launches Innovative Blood Dry Storage Products
Sep 02 2009

QIAGEN Launches Innovative Blood Dry Storage Products

 QIAsafe® DNA Blood Tubes and Plates offer high DNA yield, easy transport and storage at room temperature

Venlo, The Netherlands - September 2, 2009 - Biobanks are the intermediary between donors and research labs to ensure the safe effective transfer of the biological information held in samples.  The number of biobanks is increasing, as is the cost for power to store the samples at the appropriate refrigerated temperature.  The current standard for storage is either at -20º C or -70º C.  It is costly for biobanks not only to keep these samples cold, but also to house the refrigerators within their labs.  New methods are being sought to allow storage at room temperature, thus reducing costs as well as being environmentally friendly.  QIAGEN launched the QIAsafe DNA Blood Kit to provide easy transport and storage of whole blood at room temperature.

Traditional room temperature collection and storage of blood is accomplished via paper methods.  There are currently many card-based methods available to collect and store samples for multiple years.  A disadvantage with some card-based methods can be the relatively low yield of DNA available from blood spots.  QIAGEN's QIAsafe DNA Blood Kits, which were co-developed with Biomatrica Inc. SAN DIEGO, CA, are the first dry blood storage available on a matrix.  The kits stabilize blood at ambient room temperature using an innovative technology.

The QIAsafe matrix is a mixture of dissolvable compounds that stabilizes DNA at room temperature.  The technology is based on anhydrobiosis, a biological mechanism employed by some multicelluar organisms to enable their survival in a dry state for periods over 100 years.  The QIAsafe matrix is optimally formulated for ambient temperature shipping and long-term storage of DNA. In QIAsafe DNA Blood products this technology is used to preserve DNA for future extractions from blood.

"This is a unique product for researchers in molecular diagnostics, biomedical research and pharma that rely on biobanking," says Marie McCluskey, global product manager, QIAGEN.  "Up to 200 µl of blood can be stored in tubes or 48-well plates.  The true advantage comes when the sample is rehydrated for analysis.  Researchers will notice a significantly higher yield than with traditional room temperature storage methods."

The QIAsafe matrix forms a protective seal around the DNA as it dries, in essence shrink-wrapping the sample in a protective coating.  Drying occurs at room temperature without requiring any special equipment.  "Sample recovery is just a simple rehydration step," says McCluskey.  "The rehydrated samples are ready for immediate use without the need for further purification."

The QIAsafe Blood DNA Kit is the latest addition to QIAGEN's portfolio of solutions for human blood and tissue stabilization, storage, fixation and purification.  In May 2009, QIAGEN launched the QIAamp Circulating Nucleic Acid Kit.  This novel product is ideal for extraction of free circulating fragments of tumor- and fetal-derived nucleic acids as well as viral nucleic acids in human blood. Scientists consider these DNA and RNA fragments to have great potential for the highly sensitive and non-invasive diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and infections. The QIAamp Circulating Nucleic Acid Kit is expected to significantly facilitate the corresponding biomarker research and the introduction of novel molecular tests in prenatal diagnostics.

In January 2009, PreAnalytiX, GmbH (a QIAGEN/BD Company) launched the PAXgene® Tissue System.  This is the first system that not only fixes human tissue, but also prevents degradation of the biomolecules needed for molecular analysis.  The system combines tissue fixation with nucleic acid stabilization, enabling researchers to get the most information from samples.  For example, a biopsy sample can be assessed by a pathologist for morphology, and then the same sample can be used for molecular analysis as well.  The stabilized nucleic acids make it possible for researchers to get optimal morphology and molecular results from one sample.  The system has two components - a tissue container and tissue kits.  The dual-chambered container is pre-filled with two reagents: PAXgene Tissue Fix for fast penetration and fixation, and PAXgene Tissue Stabilizer for storage and transport.  The fixation process uses a standard histocasette with a fixative that is an alternative to formalin and is stopped by transferring the sample into the stabilizer.  Fixation time is standardized at 2-4 hours.  The sample is stable in the PAXgene Tissue Stabilizer for transport and storage prior to processing.  Tissue can then be paraffin embedded and processed in pathology workflows.  After tissue has been stabilized in PAXgene tissue containers (and optionally paraffin embedded), RNA, miRNA and DNA can be purified using the PAXgene tissue kits. 

More information about these products, including photos, is available at www.qiagen.com.   

Additional Resources

Genomic DNA Purification Portfolio

Biomedical Tissue Management and Biobanking

Detection of Viral Nucleic Acids 

About QIAGEN

QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make such isolated biomolecules visible. QIAGEN has developed and markets more than 500 consumable products as well as automated solutions for such consumables. The company provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN's assay technologies include one of the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This panel includes the digene HPV Test, which is regarded as the "gold standard" in testing for high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. QIAGEN employs more than 3,000 people in over 30 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at http://www.qiagen.com/.

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