Air-Dryable™ qPCR and RT-qPCR Mixes
Air-Dryable qPCR/RT-qPCR are optimized mixes that are glycerol-free and contain excipients compatible with air and oven drying. They are easy to use and ideal for developing ambient temperature, multiplex molecular assays. Advantages to ambient-temperature assays include room temperature shipping and storage, extended shelf-life, and increased flexibility in sample volume.
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Air-Dryable™ Direct DNA qPCR and RNA/DNA qPCR mixes are glycerol-free mixes that contain optimized excipients compatible with air and oven drying and they are designed for the direct molecular quantitation of DNA and RNA from crude clinical samples. However clinical specimens, such as blood, saliva, urine, and stool contain a wide variety of PCR inhibitors, which poses a challenge in developing a universal inhibitor-tolerant mix that works with equal efficacy across each sample type. As a solution, Meridian has developed a unique range of sample-type specific Air-Dryable Direct DNA qPCR and RNA/DNA qPCR mixes that can be used directly on the sample, without DNA or RNA extraction.
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FAQs on oven and air drying the Air-Dryable Mixes
No, air-drying requires specific stabilizers, excipients and preservatives which are different from those required for lyophilization.
Yes, we recommend optimizing the oven temperature and drying time for each new assay formulation (mix including primers and probes), vessel used and lot size. High drying temperatures may affect the integrity of the mix and its components, including enzymes.
Ideally, 70% moisture should be removed from Air-Dryable™ 1-step RT-qPCR Mixes and 95% from the Air-Dryable™ Mixes. However, the optimal moisture loss requires optimization for each assay. Retaining too much moisture may impact the shelf-life of the assay and over-drying may make the mixture difficult to rehydrate and cause a loss of performance. Moisture loss can be calculated by comparing the weight of the initial wet mix in the vessel to the dry mix (refer to the basic workflow for further information). Please note that the air-dried material must be packaged immediately after the drying cycle.
The air-dried mix rehydrates in seconds after the addition of the sample. We do recommend, if possible, to gently shake/mix the vessels in order to resuspend the reaction mix before running the reaction, or alternatively mix the solution when adding the patient sample.
If a mix becomes over-dried, the integrity of the enzymes will be compromised. Conceptually, the ideal “dryness” of a mix will be the highest percentage of moisture loss achieved without losing assay performance. If the Ct value of your dry mix is lower to the comparable wet mix, then the mix has been over-dried and further optimization is required.
We did not observe any effect of the fluorophore type (Cy5, FAM, JOE or ROX) on the performance of the mix after air-drying.
We did not observe any contamination during air-drying however we do recommend good laboratory cleaning practice to minimize possible environmental contamination. Examples include surface cleaning or allocating separate locations for the oven drying, qPCR reaction setup, and analysis. In addition, we recommend maintaining the oven following the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.
We did not observe any cross contamination from fan-forced oven drying. Given the mix resides at the bottom of the vessel, it is very unlikely that cross-contamination can occur between the wells. In addition, in accordance with good manufacturing practices, we would discourage oven drying two different types of assay in the same drying cycle.
Other vessels can be used such as plates, vials or various microchips, but the drying conditions for each vessel/assay would need to be optimized. Once the ideal conditions and parameters are established, they would need to be verified during validation and scale up.
We recommend using a precision drying oven (temperature uniformity of +/- 1.5°C) with convection, fan-forced or vacuum capabilities. In our testing, we used a Memmert UF260Plus oven with fan and air flap settings at 100% and 20% respectively. Please note that different ovens will have different specifications and adjustable parameters that will need to be optimized based your assay, reaction volume, vessel type, batch size, relative humidity, and altitude.
If the first attempt is not successful and does not provide the correct moisture loss value, we do not recommend putting the tubes back in the oven for additional drying or adding water. We recommend re-starting the experiment in order to control all of the variables so that they are reproducible. In addition, opening the door during the drying process is also not recommended unless it is done in a controllable manner and will be part of the process moving forward.
Unlike the effects with lyophilization, there is no impact of the environment to the moisture loss with air-drying.
We recommend that different drying cycles are performed to test the effect of altering any assay variable such as vessel type, reaction volume, primer/probes, and lot size. This will ensure that the conditions and outcomes are reproducible.
No, the balance does not have to be next to the oven, just close the vessel once it is out of the oven and go to the balance (even if in a different room) for measurement.
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Have questions about a product? Want to learn more about Meridian’s molecular or immunoassay reagent portfolio? We want to hear from you!