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Case Study: Improving Nucleic Acid Extraction from Dried Blood Spot

Case Study: Improving Nucleic Acid Extraction from Dried Blood Spot


GenTegra LLC is a world leader in developing Active Chemical Protection™ technologies for the ambient dry storage of nucleic acids and other biological molecules and reducing the costs of maintaining biobanks and biorepositories for individual researchers, pharmacogenomics companies, and hospitals.

Having recently been awarded a $2.8m NIAID Phase IIb SBIR grant, the company plans to develop two new products to the market; a chemically treated matrix, GenProtect vRNA for stabilization of viral RNA in whole blood when collected and stored at ambient and a second chemically treated matrix GenProtect-t for stabilization of the total complement of biomolecules (RNA, DNA and Proteins) in whole blood.


GenTegra has been developing paper-based nucleic acid stabilizing products with its commercialization partner Ahlstrom-Munksjö since 2013 and launched its first commercial product, GenSaver™ DNA Collection Card, in 2016.

Researchers at GenTegra required a thermal mixer for the extraction of RNA and DNA from Dried Blood Spot (DBS) on GenSaver™ and GenProtect™ Collection Cards. Having used the same equipment for 5 years, the team recognized they needed a new, more efficient approach.

The lab’s existing hardware struggled to provide consistent results during the extraction process, and there were limitations around being able to accurately time how long the shaker was operating for. Whilst the current solution was suitably robust with five years of known use, it lacked the control functionality of the Ther-mix. The Ther-mix combined with its Heated Modules, which have independently heated lids, are proven to reduce or eliminate condensation build-up in the tube, meaning the quality of the results did not suffer following an extended incubation period.


Having understood the challenges that needed to be met, Vitl supplied a Ther-mix unit as well as a selection of Heated Modules for validation purposes. GenTegra were able to use the instrument to identify a suitable protocol that would provide the necessary results but also compare in performance against their existing equipment.

Their user-defined protocol combining a 90-minute incubation at 56°C whilst being mixed at 800rpm, made this testing possible.


GenTegra’s validation process showed that changing to the Ther-mix platform introduced no identifiable variables that negatively impacted the results. The overall improvement was reproducibility due to the heated lid and the removing of reliance on the operator to monitor duration of mixing, meaning that the client now has a far less demanding time constraint on their assay, effectively removing this variable from the equation.

The client found that the programmability of the Ther-mix was a definite improvement over their existing platform, and the younger scientists appreciated the convenience of the touchscreen user-interface. The colorful, curvy aesthetics of the product was also noted as a definite improvement in a world where so many instruments are drab and ‘boxy”.

About Vitl Life Science Solutions

Vitl Life Science Solutions range of heating and mixing equipment is highly regarded for providing exceptional thermal stability. The growing range of laboratory equipment is respected for its versatility as the products are suited for a broad range of applications where customers see little to no variables in obtaining repeatable and proven results.

We specialize in the design, development and manufacture of high-end laboratory and analytical instruments. From best-selling microplate heat sealers to a collection of programmable mixers, shakers, vortexers and readers. Our products are suited for a breadth of applications, including ELISA, DNA isolation, enzymatic reactions and sample incubation.

Get in touch

We understand that your laboratory equipment is Vitl, so if you have specific questions regarding our products or services please don’t hesitate to reach out to our sales team directly:


Phone: +44 1233 638 383

Email: sales@vitlproducts.com

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