Applications of Nucleic Acid Stabilization Products

GenTegra® offers a suite of stabilization products for ambient temperature storage of, whole blood, purified DNA and purified RNA that are useful in basic research and in the biobank. Our products also support ambient temperature shipping, and day-to-day handling of purified DNA, RNA, without concerns about damage. GenTegra technology allows a laboratory or biobank to free itself from dependence on freezers, dry ice, and ice buckets while ensuring superior sample stability. Using GenTegra’s technology also reduces the cost of archiving samples.

Protect & ship RNA better than using dry ice

GenTegra-RNA does far more than just protect your RNA while it is in storage. The second the RNA is placed into GenTegra-RNA it is protected from all RNase damage and when dried the RNA is ready for safe and secure shipment at ambient temperatures. An independent study shows GenTegra-RNA protects the RNA better than shipment on dry ice. And unlike dry ice, GenTegra-RNA goes on protecting the RNA even if the shipment is delayed for days or weeks or longer. The savings in shipping cost will more than pay for the GenTegra-RNA.

RNA samples often have minor amounts of RNase that contaminate the sample. These small amounts of contamination lead quickly to the loss of the entire sample. Using GenTegra-RNA with its powerful RNase inhibitor will ensure that the RNA, you have so carefully purified, will remain safe and ready for sequencing. GenTegra-RNA protection is simply added to the RNA solution as it is eluted ensuring immediate protection following purification. Once the GenTegra-RNA is added it is no longer necessary to keep the sample in an ice bath for protection and can be used at room temperature for up to 48 hours. When dried the solution of RNA and GenTegra-RNA is protected for years of storage at ambient temperatures and does not require freezing for long term storage. In the dry state, the GenTegra-RNA protects the RNA against damage from higher temperatures.

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When GenTegra-RNA protection is added to an  RNA sample, and dried, the RNA is completely protected for shipping to a sequencing facility. Not even dry ice provides the high degree of protection that GenTegra-RNA provides. RNA protected by GenTegra-RNA can be shipped with confidence because the protection is effective for years. If the shipment is delayed a few days or even weeks you don’t have the worry that the dry ice will be expended and the RNA sample lost. When the RNA sample arrives at the sequencing facility, you can be confident that the RNA is just as good as when it began the journey.

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Shipping RNA samples on dry ice is not only complicated and cumbersome it is also expensive. The cost of a single dry ice shipment will more than pay for the GenTegra-RNA needed to protect quite a few RNA samples. Using GenTegra-RNA to ship RNA samples to a sequencing facility will likely save you more money than the cost of the GenTegra-RNA protection. And when the sample arrives at the sequencing facility all that’s needed is to add water and the sample is ready for immediate reverse transcription and sequencing. No clean up step is needed; the RNA sequencing samples go directly into the workflow.

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Safely Store DNA at Ambient Temperatures

Securely storing purified DNA samples does not require expensive, bulky -20°C freezers. Ambient storage of purified DNA using GenTegra-DNA leads to space and cost savings while at the same time reducing your risk of sample loss. GenTegra technology also allows you to ship samples at ambient temperature without any fear of sample loss due to a delay in shipping. No wet ice shipping means a late shipment never puts your sample at risk.

When a solution of GenTegra-DNA and DNA are dried the GenTegra-DNA concentrates around the DNA forming a glass like coating that forms a cocoon like barrier protecting the DNA for oxidative and other forms of attack. This protection is effective without the need for and special storage conditions or humidity control. Once the GenTegra-DNA and DNA are dried the dry components are completely stable at normal ambient temperatures without humidity concerns.

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Shipping a sample of purified DNA is reasonably easy just put it in a box with some wet ice and send it on its way. Most of the time this will work very well but if the shipment is delayed for several days the temperature of the sample may become compromised because wet ice only lasts a few days at best. However, if you put the DNA into GenTegra-DNA and dry it first the amount of time the shipment takes becomes completely irrelevant as far as the safety of the DNA is concerned. Long delays and or high temperatures during the delay will not harm DNA that is protected by GenTegra-DNA. And when the sample arrives at the sequencing facility they need only add water and the sample is ready to go directly into the workflow. GenTegra-DNA does not interfere with any of the normal downstream processes of sequencing, arrays, PCR or STR.

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Once DNA is dried in the presence of GenTegra-DNA it is protected for ambient temperature storage of more than 20 years. And without the need for freezers there is essentially no additional cost for each additional year of storage. The fact is that storing GenTegra-DNA protected DNA does not even require an air-conditioned storage space. You will probably prefer to keep your samples close by but air conditioning is not required for long term safe storage of DNA when protected by GenTegra-DNA. And you avoid all cost associated with freezers; capital costs, operating costs, maintenance costs and the time cost of routine freezer maintenance.

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Field Sample collection without Cold Chain

Collecting samples in remote location can often be a challenge especially if the collection method requires the use of a cold chain to get the samples back to the laboratory. Paper collection cards offer a simple and convenient method of collecting sample and avoiding the hassles of a cold chain. GenTegra offers a card for every need whether you are collecting DNA, RNA or some other small molecule.

The Ahlstrom-Munksjö GenSaver™ card is the best choice when collecting DBS samples in the field. The GenSaver card provides superior protect for the DBS sample and protects the DNA from elevated temperatures and oxidative damage while in storage. GenSaver cards have the same Active Chemical Protection that is provided by GenTegra-DNA. The GenSaver card also support extraction yields that are 100% higher than the yields seen when using FTA® cards for DBS collection. All common card formats; 1-spot, 2-spot, 4-spot and others are available as well as custom cards when the existing formats do not meet your need. If you have a special format in mind contact GenTegra at info@gentegra.com

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The Ahlstrom-Munksjö GenSaver™ card is the best choice when collecting blood samples in the field for later DNA extraction. GenSaver cards do not require cooling or freezing to protect the DNA, only drying. GenSaver collection cards are especially convenient when sample collection is in areas where a cold chain is difficult or impossible to support. The blood sample is easily collected and simple air drying for a couple hours will prepare the sample for shipment. To ensure the sample is dry for shipping it is recommended that a silica gel desiccant packet be included with the sample cards when shipped. The desiccant packet will ensure the drying step is completed and keep the blood spot dry during shipment. An airtight shipping package is also recommendation to keep moisture out of the package.

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When collecting samples for small molecule identification or for short term transport of DNA we have the Ahlstrom-Munksjö GenCollect card. The GenCollect card is a plain paper collection card with no added chemistry. This card is useful for small molecule identification and has no added chemistry added that might interfere with a MassSpec analysis.

We also offer a RNA collection card GenProtect RNA. If you have a need for collecting RNA in areas where a cold chain is not readily available we may be able to provide a card technology that will protect the RNA until the sample reaches the laboratory for analysis. Please contact us at info@gentegra.com if you are interested in a RNA collection card.

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Forensic DNA samples

Field collection of forensic blood and other biological fluids for later DNA analysis can be easily done using the GenSaver 2.0 collection cards. The GenSaver 2.0 chemistry is a specifically enhanced formulation providing additional sample protection when the sample is potentially contaminated with environmental microbes. The chemistry formulation of the GenSaver 2.0 cards was developed with inputs from forensic specialist to better serve their unique needs. The additional level of antimicrobial activity better protects the DNA during long term storage. All GenSaver 2.0 collection cards are manufactured to ISO 18385 compliance, ensuring no human DNA contamination.

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Extract and Purify DNA from Dried Blood Spots, (DBS)

There are many home-grown techniques and protocols for extracting DNA from dried blood spots, DBS, but only GenSolve DNA extraction delivers the quality of double stranded DNA and the DNA yield. GenSolve DNA extraction kit was developed to extract DNA from dried blood spots on FTA® paper. GenSolve extraction is recognized as the leading product for extracting DNA from dried blood spots, DBS. GenSolve also gives the same excellent results when used on all other DNA collection cards. GenSolve is also the kit of choice for extracting DNA from Guthrie cards. GenSolve kits extraction kits provide even better results when used in combination with GenSaver Collection cards.

The best way to extract DNA from a dried blood spot, DBS, is using GenTegra’s GenSolve™ DNA extraction kit. GenSolve DNA extraction kit provides both the highest quality of double stranded DNA, average length >35kb, and the highest yield. The actual yield is determined by two factors, the first being the amount of DNA in the blood and the second the ability to extract the DNA from the collection card. A 6 mm punch of 903 or FTA™ paper will normally yield between 50-350 ng of DNA with an average size of >35kb. If the dried blood spot, DBS, collection card is a GenSaver™ card, then yields of 100-700ng can be expected which is >95% of the DNA available on the card. To purify the extracted DNA, we recommend using the GenSolve DNA COMPLETE extraction kit which adds purification following the extraction.

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The GenSolve DNA COMPLETE™ extraction and purification kit provides all the benefits of the standalone GenSolve extraction kit and completes the process by providing column-based DNA purification. The GenSolve DNA COMPLETE kit also provides the convenience of ordering a single kit that provides the best combination of DNA extraction and DNA purification in one kit. The overall performance of the GenSolve DNA COMPLETE kit matches or exceeds the performance of any other DNA extraction and DNA purification combination.

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Biobanking with less Space, Cost and Risk

Using GenTegra-DNA dry ambient storage technology you save a minimum of 30% in your space requirements and depending upon the tube format used as much as 300% reduction in space used. While saving space you will also be reducing your long-term costs by saving thousands of dollars every year.

When purified DNA is protected by GenTegra-DNA it can safely be stored at ambient temperatures. This means the use of valuable freezer space can be avoided keeping the freezers for what they must be used for, tissue samples for example. Samples that do not require freezer space save money year after year as virtually no electricity or freezer maintenance costs will ever be needed. It also delays greatly the need for additional capital expenses of purchasing additional freezers to house DNA samples.

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When using freezer storage, the insulation and the mechanical spaces for the compressors represent as much as 30% of the space occupied by the freezer. If samples stored in the common 81 or 100 tube freezer boxers are moved to microplates or the 96-tube cluster racks the gain in effective storage space can be as much a 300%. If space limitations are becoming and issue for your biobank, GenTegra can offer a safe and secure solution.

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Freezer storage remains at risk to power outages that exceed the planned backup time of each individual backup system. Ambient storage of DNA on GenTegra-DNA is completely secure when the power goes out. Ambient storage does not mean air conditioning conditions but a range of (-80C to +70C). If the power goes out for months samples protected with GenTegra-DNA Active Chemical Protection are safe for years or decades. Ambient storage can also off a safe alternative for alternate site secondary site backup without the additional expenses of freezers and a secondary backup system.

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