Biomatrica storage solution keeps RNA fresh

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Rna, Gene expression, Dna, Gene

Biomatrica has launched the RNAstable - a piece of kit that
preserves RNA samples at ambient and elevated temperatures with
minimal degradation.

Principally aimed at scientists, research facilities and laboratories, the kit may well bring welcome relief to molecular biologists and other researchers who can struggle to cope with the delicate nature of RNA. Exposure to slightly elevated temperatures for even short time periods can compromise RNA integrity. RNAstable preserves RNA at room temperature for up to five months and has demonstrated an equivalent of three-and-a-half years stability under accelerated aging conditions. Interest in RNA has skyrocketed over the past years due to its role as a gene silencer and in gene expression studies. Its role in replication also makes it a viable target for therapeutic drugs. It is therefore vitally important that RNA samples recovered following cold storage be viable to work with in applications such as qRT-PCR, bioanalyser and microarray analysis, end-point PCR, gel analysis, cDNA synthesis and reverse transcription without inhibition or interference. RNAstable is based on the natural principles of anhydrobiosis (life without water), a biological mechanism employed by some multicellular organisms that enables their survival while dry for up to 120 years. Biomatrica's technology transfers the molecular principles of anhydrobiosis to a synthetic chemistry-based platform by forming a glass-like shell, essentially shrink-wrapping RNA samples and providing protection against degradation. ​To store their RNA, researchers simply need to pipette their samples directly into a tube or well of RNAstable and let dry. Sample recovery requires just adding water; there is no further purification involved. "RNA is hard to work with because it is unstable and degrades even when properly stored​," said Fernando Monroy, Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University. "You are always anxious until you see the results of your experiments. RNAstable makes working with RNA much easier, as it preserves its integrity during storage, and it has allowed my experiments to be consistently reproduced​." Biomatrica claims that RNAstable is better at preventing degradation than freezer storage. Scientists can now store their RNA samples on the bench top in a 1.5ml microcentrifuge tube or 96-well plate containing RNAstable, reducing reliance on costly freezer units. The biostability company also claim that storing samples with RNAstable costs 15 times less than keeping them in freezers. Shipping samples at ambient temperature also reduced transportation costs by as much as 75 per cent since dry ice is not needed. Additionally, the integrity of RNA stabilised in RNAstable is protected against fluctuating and inconsistent temperatures during shipping. In development for over a year, RNAstable is now available for purchase. There are three items available- RNAstable Trial Kit ($38), RNAstable Tube Kit ($125) and RNAstable Plate Kit ($350 US).

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