Why Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction is the Future of Lab Efficiency

Automating nucleic acid extraction can save time and resources, and with the availability of more accessible automated systems that come with easy-to-use kits, the process no longer needs to be tedious and complex. As a result, you may be considering incorporating automated nucleic acid extraction into your laboratory workflows.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled nine compelling reasons why automating your nucleic acid extraction workflows can be beneficial towards achieving greater efficiency and productivity.

Here are nine reasons why you should automate your nucleic acid extraction processes:

1. Reach your project milestones and publish faster.

Managing resources efficiently, especially time, is critical to reaching project milestones and publishing your work. Manual nucleic acid extractions are time-consuming and can eat up valuable hours that could be used for other tasks. Automation is not only faster, but it also frees up your team to work on more valuable projects.

For instance, the ANDiS 360 from 3DMed cuts hands-on-time per 16 samples by providing pre-filled reagent 96-deep well plates. As the number of samples scales to 96 and beyond, liquid handlers like the ANDiS 3100 or ANDiS 3150 can save many hours of hands-on-time per day.

2. Get more extractions done and increase your throughput.

Automation allows you to increase your throughput and get more extractions done in less time, making it an excellent option for labs with high sample numbers. As processes scale, automation helps to decrease costs per sample, while manual preparations become costlier.

3. Increase precision and reproducibility.

Automation is an essential tool for improving precision and reproducibility in the biological sciences. It limits the number of variables that researchers need to consider, reducing the likelihood of inconclusive results. This is especially crucial for diagnostic labs, large multi-lab and longitudinal studies, and service and core labs.

4. Avoid contamination.

Automated nucleic acid extraction systems reduce the risk of downstream contamination, especially from well-to-well cross-contamination. Processes can be optimised for greater precision, reducing the chances of errors due to human factors.

5. Maximize the potential of your skilled personnel.

Manual nucleic acid extraction is a relatively simple and mundane task that highly skilled professionals shouldn’t perform. Automating these processes frees up their time and expertise, enabling them to work on more interesting and challenging projects, which fosters greater job satisfaction.

6. Support trainees’ development.

Students and trainees need to focus on developing specialised skills rather than performing mundane tasks like nucleic acid extraction. Automating these processes frees up their time, enabling them to work on more research-related activities.

7. Increase the scope of your work.

Automating nucleic acid extraction processes enables you to get results faster with less labour, which can potentially allow you to analyse more parameters, test more drug candidates, or include more patient samples. It also frees up time for other techniques and tools, promoting multi-omic approaches.

8. Streamline other tasks into a single automated workflow.

Automated nucleic acid extraction systems can also automate other tasks, such as sample management, barcode tracking, sample transfers to 96-well plates, normalisation, and PCR setup. This integration streamlines your lab’s workflow and reduces the chances of errors.

9. Improve sample integrity for transport.

Performing nucleic acid extraction from blood samples can improve the sample integrity for transport. Blood samples can contain various enzymes and proteins that can degrade nucleic acids over time. By extracting and isolating the nucleic acids from the blood, you can protect them from degradation and ensure their stability during transport to the laboratory. Additionally, nucleic acid extraction removes potential inhibitors that can interfere with downstream applications such as PCR or sequencing, which can lead to false-negative results. Therefore, performing nucleic acid extraction from blood samples can help to ensure the quality and integrity of the sample during transport and subsequent analysis.

To learn more about how Equinox Medical can support your automation needs, from low-throughput benchtop automation to high-throughput automation, visit our website at www.equinoxmedicalgroup.com.au or contact us through LinkedIn. Alternatively, feel free to reach out via e-mail to info@equinoxmedical.com.au