How to Maintain Sample Integrity of Nucleic Acid

It is highly important to take care of sample integrity when a specimen is collected. Improper collection and any carelessness at this stage result negatively on the quality of the downstream purification.

In addition to that, samples that aren’t protected are prone to compositional changes and biased results, due to the degradation of nucleic acid. There are several other issues attached to unprotected samples as well; cellular decay and problems in the transportation of collection are some of the many. (Inc.)

Simplified Purification And Preservation

Proper preservation practices should be followed (Blow, 2008). As soon as a specimen is collected it should be transported and the temperature should be kept at 60C or less. Nucleic acid and similar samples that require preservation should definitely be kept in the right conditions, at the earliest after collection, to maintain their integrity.  It has been noted that placing the sample/buffer AVL solution at a temperature of  4 or -20 degrees C stabilized samples for at least 35 days (Blow et al., 2008).

In order to get through this issue, it's better to use a single preservation reagent, which is the DNA/RNA shield. This protects the nucleic acid and also ensures a proper purification workflow. The DNA/RNA shield helps in stabilizing nucleic acids, without having a setup for extremely cold temperatures (-800c). This shield is good enough to protect samples, even at the immediately available temperatures for up to a month. This alleviates a lot of heavy expenses that are incurred in terms of storage facilities and special sample collection procedures. Also, it maintains a preserved sample of the DNA/RNA profile, despite the several freeze-thaw cycles.

The usage of this reagent significantly improves the process of sample collection and purification of nucleic acid. The DNA/RNA shield can be used with a plethora of different purification kits and unlike many other preservatives, this does not require to be taken out before sample processing. The purification process can simply begin just by adding a binding agent in the DNA/RNA shield.

This shield comes from various collection vessels to provide effective results that are considered best according to your workflow. Some of the most prominent ones are a swab and collection tube, fecal collection tube, and a blood collection tube.

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The Freeze-Thaw Cycle And The Protection It Offers

The stabilization of samples is affected by multiple factors. These include the time from the collection, storage temperature, as well as the freeze-thaw cycle. Any subtle changes in these factors can have a significant effect on the result, but the DNA/RNA shield paves way for the protection of samples against these changes. Even if you store the DNA and RNA at the surrounding temperatures, it won’t be much of an issue, and costs for storage facilities can be avoided. However, the negative effects of freeze-thaw can also be avoided by storing samples at extremely low temperatures.

Maintenance Of A Sample Of Microbial Composition

You can conveniently see the working of a DNA/RNA shield just by maintaining the microbial composition of a sample. If stabilization is not taken care of, there will be high variability and bias seen in the results, which happen due to the growth of bacteria. Adding the DNA/RNA shield to the sample preserves the microbial profile for a long time and does not let any shifts or bias occur.

The above-mentioned methods discuss a few ways to maintain the sample integrity of Nucleic acid. 

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