General questions about QuickPick technology and manual devices
More questions, by subject area, here:
  
Frequently asked questions about the QuickPick technology and manual devices
  
Frequently asked questions about nucleic acid purifications
  
Frequently asked questions about protein purifications


How does the QuickPick technology differ from other purification technologies?

The BN Products & Services' QuickPick™ method principle “moving magnetic particles, not liquids” offers a clear advantage to the conventional purification methods. Using QuickPick technology, your nucleic acid and protein sample purifications are performed faster, simpler and gentler and are ready for downstream applications such as PCR.

Unlike other commercial magnetic bioseparation systems, which normally rely on fixed external magnets and liquid transfer to achieve separation, BN Products & Services' innovative hand-held QuicPick devices as well as MagRo 8-M robotic workstation move magnetic particles with bound target molecule.

What is the difference between a QuicPick tool and a pipette?
The QuicPick magnetic tool is used to transfer magnetic particles between vessels instead of transferring liquid as with pipettes. It is a hand-held and convenient personal tool which provides speed and flexibility in a wide variety of separation and purification applications.

What is the difference between a QuicPick tip and an ordinary pipette tip?
The QuicPick tip protects the QuicPick magnet from sample contamination. Without the tip the magnetic particles would attach to magnet. This special tip can not be used as a pipette tip to transfer liquids because it is closed. Wise versa, a standard pipette tip can not be used with the QuicPick tool.

Can I use other tips for QuicPick?
No, the tips are specially made for QuicPick tools and are only available from BN Products & Services.


How do I sterilize the QuicPick tips?
The bulk tips in bags can be autoclaved (+121°C at least 20 min). The separately available QuicPick tip box can also be autoclaved. The tips in 96 tip boxes are sterile and the tips in 8-Packs are RNase and DNase free.


What kind of devices does BN Products & Services offer for its QuicPick technology?
There are two versions, both are handheld: The single-magnet device QuicPick 1 and the 8-magnet device QuicPick 8. The 8-magnet version allows you to process samples in a microplate format one whole column at a time.

BN Products & Services offers also full automation for medium to high throughput sample purification and liquid handling, MagRo™ 8-M and 96-M robotic workstations. MagRo 8-M includes two liquid dispensers and processes 8 wells at a time with a capacity of up to 96 samples per run while 96-M has extremely efficient magnetic particle processing capabilities for really high throughput work. MagRo 96-M can also be configured with only 8 magnets and a cooling unit for special cell based applications.


What is the capacity of QuicPick to collect magnetic particles?
The collection capacity depends on the physical nature (size, amount of magnetite etc.) of the particular magnetic particle. Typically, QuicPick can collect at least 1 g of magnetic particles from a solution.

What kind of magnetic particles do you have?
We have magnetic particles for different applications, for example, gDNA, DNA fragment, mRNA, IMAC (histidine-tagged proteins), GST fusion proteins and weak ion exchangers. Information on kits based on these particles is found on our product pages. Full details of other particles are available on our coated particles page.

What is the binding capacity of magnetic particles?
Binding capacity depends on the magnetic particle. For example 5 µl of DNA magnetic particles can bind 125 µg of DNA in optimum conditions. Separately sold magnetic particles will be delivered with their own specifications, and the amount used is based on the customer downstream application.

What is the composition of magnetic particles?
Magnetic particles are paramagnetic, i.e., they react to a magnetic field without themselves becoming magnetized. Consequently, once they are removed from the magnetic field, paramagnetic particles cease to bond together, and can readily be resuspended.

There are various kinds of particles available. They usually have a core of iron and are bonded or coated with silane, glass, or various polymers. The relevant information will usually be specified for the specific magnetic particle.

The surface of the particles has usually some chemical groups or molecules which will bind the target substance specifically. Particles may be classified on the basis of their surface coating material. There are particles with simple surface groups (e.g. -NH2), with general recognition groups (e.g. oligo-dT) and with specific recognition groups (e.g. monoclonal antibodies).

What is the size of magnetic particles?
Magnetic particles are typically 1-10 µm in diameter, depending on the type of the particle.

What kind of formats are the QuicPick tools intended for?
QuicPick 1-magnet is an ideal personal tool that can be used with microplates, microtubes, bottles or any container where the tool fits. Proteins and nucleic acids, for example, can easily be processed in volumes of 10 µl or less. The QuicPick is not recommended for use with volumes significantly exceeding 20 ml. The optimal volume depends on the particles and vessels being used, but best results will normally be obtained with liquid volumes less than 700 µl.

QuicPick 8-magnet is a practical tool for higher throughput in plate format. Use it with standard 96 well plates, deep-well plates or with sample reservoirs for higher sample volumes.

What is the lifetime of QuicPick devices?
The QuicPick device is extremely durable and will not wear or break in normal use. The strength of the magnet does not diminish with time unless it becomes heated to temperatures above 80 °C. Normally the QuicPick device needs no service. To clean a QuicPick device, wipe it carefully with 70 % ethanol or a mild detergent and finally with sterile water. RNase treatment can be performed with specific reagents or with UV light. Do not autoclave or bake in an oven to sterilize the tool.

How can I improve my throughput?
The MagRo™ robotic workstation brings the advantages of the QuicPick magnetic particle technology to automated sample purification. It combines a QuicPick magnetic tool for magnetic particle transfers and manipulations with high precision liquid handling designed for automation of routine laboratory tasks. This unique combination simplifies the automation of sample purification protocols and allows the application of QuicPick technology to larger batch sizes while avoiding spin columns, vacuum boxes and centrifugations.

MagRo 8-M bridges the gap between manual tools and high throughput automation. It processes 8 wells at a time in batch sizes of up to 96 samples per run, depending on the application.

What are the advantages of the MagRo 8-M for me?
MagRo™ 8-M combines a QuicPick magnetic tool for magnetic particle transfers and manipulations with high precision liquid handling designed for automation of routine laboratory tasks. This unique combination simplifies the automation of sample purification protocols and allows the application of QuicPick technology to larger batch sizes.

The costs are low because of the consumables. The reagents can be bought separately without the need to waste any of them. Magro™ 8-M uses one tip for each sample, one tip for each reagent and only the amount of plates needed.

By integrating magnetic particle processing and liquid handling into one flexible instrument, MagRo™ 8-M carries out both pre- and post purification dispensing. With its small footprint, MagRo™ 8-M saves on costly and limited lab space without compromising on performance.

Can I use the MagRo 8-M for many different applications?
MagRo 8-M can bed used for a broad range of applications: for example purification of DNA from various of sample material (plant, tissue, blood etc) and purification of histidine-tagged proteins and immunoprecipitation protocols.  You can use it with our ready-made protocols with our QuickPick kits or create your own protocols for any kit from a  third party.

What is the throughput of the MagRo 8-M?
MagRo 8-M robotic workstation integrates magnetic particle processing and liquid handling in one flexible instrument. It processes 8 wells at a time in batch sizes of up to 96 samples per run and up to 300 samples per day depending on the application.

This processing time depends on the application but, for example, it takes 30 minutes to purify genomic DNA from 8 samples of whole blood. In the MagRo 8-M process the liquids are dispensed prior to the purification. Therefore, the 30 minutes includes the sample and reagent dispensing and the purification step.

Is there any risk of cross contamination?
Due to the innovative dispensing and magnetic particle handling technology, there will be a minimum of drops of liquids during all dispensing or purification steps. The QuicPick device of the MagRo 8-M transfers only magnetic particles, not liquids, and uses a new tip for each sample.

How much service does the MagRo 8-M require?
The MagRo 8-M device does not require much regular service. In normal use, some reference coordinates (“Anchors”) need to be checked on a weekly basis. The dispensing pumps cannot be calibrated by the user and are exchanged for refurbished pumps as part of the normal service contract at regular intervals.

What are the overall costs when using the MagRo 8-M?
The overall costs will be based on the use of reagents and consumables. The technology of the MagRo 8-M allows for very efficient use of reagents and consumables. For example, the dispensing units carry no dead volumes that have to be filled with expensive reagents. The reagents can be bought separately without the need to waste any of them. MagRo 8-M uses one tip for each sample, one tip for each reagent and only the amount of plates needed.

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