Magnetic Beads for DNA and RNA Isolation
Are you looking to buy magnetic beads for biomolecule separation? GeneBio Systems, Inc. is here to help. We offer reliable magnetic beads of many types as well as separation stands (racks) to help you isolate DNA, RNA, protein and other molecules. Here's everything to know about magnetic bead purification, isolation and separation. We cover basic FAQs about the beads, technology, manufacturing, applications, handling and more.
What Are Magnetic Beads?
Magnetic beads refer to small iron oxide particles that have superparamagnetic properties. The beads are usually 0.5 to 5 µm (micrometer or microns) and only have magnetic properties in the presence of external magnetic fields. Due to their small size, magnetic beads can remain separated in suspension and hold on to whatever molecules they're bound to. Manufacturers including GeneBio Systems, provide several types of beads with unique surface coatings, coupling and attachment chemistries and binding properties. We also provide magrose, which are large magnetic particles coated with agarose, which are 30~150 µm in diameter.
What Are the Uses of Magnetic Beads?
Magnetic bead properties make them useful for various applications. Popular uses of magnetic beads include isolating and purifying DNA, RNA, plasmids and proteins. Magnetic bead separation techniques like magnetic-activated cell sorting enable biologists to perform immunodiagnostics. Downstream magnetic bead applications facilitate detection, sequencing, cloning, amplification and hybridization. Other applications include magnetic bead synthesis (cDNA synthesis), magnetic bead labeling and preparation of NGS samples and PCR.
How Does Magnetic Bead Separation Work?
Magnetic bead functionalization involves using the superparamagnetic properties of the tiny beads to isolate specific molecules within a sample. With the right coating, particular molecules, such as genomic DNA, can selectively bind to the beads. This magnetic bead binding allows the molecular biologist to remove other particles from the sample. Here's how to use magnetic beads to isolate and purify molecules:
Introduce the beads to your sample and allow the target molecules to bind to the beads
Add an external magnetic field to draw the beads to the outer edge of the container. This is known as magnetic bead immobilization
Wash the sample while retaining bead-bound molecules
Introduce an elusion buffer to remove the magnetic field and release the purified molecules
What Are the Benefits of Magnetic Bead Separation?
Magnetic bead analysis has many benefits, from easy handling to reduced sample strain. Molecular biologists can use magnetic bead-based assays to isolate nucleic acids from crude samples with minimal processing. Magnetic bead conjugation doesn't involve stressful and cumbersome vacuuming or centrifugation. Magnetic bead detection also features fewer steps and reagents than other DNA extraction methods.
How Are Magnetic Beads Manufactured?
Magnetic bead manufacturing processes vary, but the basics remain the same. The magnetic bead technology seeks to produce tiny iron oxides, such as magnetite (Fe3O4), around a polystyrene core. The magnetite is held in place by polymer encapsulation, and a modified magnetic bead coating tops the surface to minimize non-specific binding. Coating modifications can also increase the area available for binding or expedite the binding process.
How Are Magnetic Beads Stored?
Magnetic bead handling and storage involve cleaning, collecting and suspending the beads in a suspension. Use the recommended cleaning process, and collect the beads by placing the tube in a magnetic separator. Magnetic bead storage should use suspensions containing buffers such as 50% glycerol with TBS/PBS containing sodium azide. Follow the magnetic bead manipulation steps recommended by the manufacturer. Magnetic beads should be stored in a 2-8 °C, not in a freezer.