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Contact: Drew Worth, QiaSymphony SRF Manager



Nucleic acids are one of the most fundamental units of biological research. The genes coded for in DNA or RNA, translated by and expressed via other RNAs are integral to many research projects. In order to use or study nucleic acids in organisms as part of research, they need to be extracted from the source material. This could be whole blood or other body fluids, frozen tissues or almost any biological material that contains DNA or RNA, including FFPE preserved material. Many varied bench methods exist for extraction of nucleic acids but all are inevitably labour intensive and may be technically demanding. When many samples are required for a study, the hands on time for lab staff may be significant. Automation can reduce this, as well as minimising cross contamination and increasing the workflow speed and quality of extracted material.

Automated solutions such as the QiaSymphony SP allow high quality extraction of DNA or RNA from a variety of starting materials with the ability to process up to 96 samples at a time with minimal hands on time. Extracted nucleic acid is then available for downstream applications such as qPCR, RT-PCR, sequencing, transcriptomics or other analysis methods. The QiaSymphony platform is used worldwide for medical diagnostic and forensic quality nucleic acid extraction as well as in research and is well established and supported.

Service provided

The Qiagen QiaSymphony SP has been set up as a Small Research Facility that is part of the Jenner Institute, in the Old Road Campus Research Building, Oxford. The facility provides one main service:

With the QiaSymphony: Automated extraction of DNA or total RNA from a wide variety of source materials, or RNA from Paxgene blood tubes (not compatible with TEMPUS tubes).

This service is available to all members of Oxford University, other academic institutions, and industry. The QiaSymphony may be booked for studies. Quotations can be provided and a PO placed if users wish to proceed with individually booked sessions or a block of time.

Training and/or experimental and technical assistancecan be arranged directly with QIAGEN. Initial pilot projects may be able to be supplied with some plasticware consumables. For larger studies, users are expected to purchase their own reagents and plastics but can take advantage of negotiated Jenner bulk discounts on Qiagen consumables and we can store enough on site for a few day’s work at a time for external users. Charges for use of the facility relate to instrument time, some consumables and service contract costs. They are calculated using the University Small Research Facility template.

Facility equipment

Qiagen QiaSymphony SP (purchased 2015)

qiagen-qiasymphony-sp.jpegRobotic nucleic acid extraction system:

  • Minimal hands on time, training can be provided, easy to use once familiar with system
  • Up to 96 samples loaded at a time, continuous feeding of batches of 24 is possible
  • Typical full use allows up to 144 DNA samples or 48-72 RNA samples to be extracted in a working day (actual number depends on protocol and any sample preparation required)
  • Internal extraction control may be employed if required
  • Intelligent monitoring of on board consumables and ability to pause and top up mid run
  • Virtually zero cross contamination and high degree of consistency and quality
  • Used for 1000s of Clinical Trial samples since 2015

Wide variety of kits available (Qiagen Technical Services also offer bespoke protocols and advice/proof of principle testing if required).

QIAsymphony DSP DNA

Versatile kit, allowing purification of DNA from up to 1000 μl human whole blood, 400 μl buffy coat, 50 mg tissue, or 1 x 107 cells. Also works with standard bacterial cultures.

QIAsymphony Certal® Residual DNA

Purification of DNA from up to 1000 μl biological process samples.

QIAsymphony Certal Vaccine NA Purification of viral nucleic acids from up to 1000 μl biological process samples
QIAsymphony DSP AXpH DNA Purification of DNA from liquid-based cytology samples using AXpH technology

QIAsymphony DNA Investigator®

Purification of reference and casework samples for human identity testing and forensics

QIAsymphony DSP Virus/Pathogen

Purification of viral nucleic acids from up to 1000 μl plasma, serum, or CSF. Purification of viral nucleic acids and bacterial DNA from up to 800 μl respiratory samples, urine, transport media, or air-dried swabs

QIAsymphony mericon®

Bacteria Purification of bacterial DNA from 500 μl enrichment culture

QIAsymphony PAXgene® Blood RNA*

Purification of cellular RNA from 2.5 ml human whole blood collected in PAXgene Blood RNA Tubes

QIAsymphony RNA

Purification of total RNA and miRNA from up to 50 mg tissue, FFPE tissue, or 1 x 107 cells

The QiaSymphony is covered by comprehensive service contracts and typical working day turnaround time in the case of a machine fault, is no more than 48 hours. (Enhanced engineer cover for the QiaSymphony may be made by arrangement with Qiagen if required.)

This is a very good automated facility for extraction from large numbers of samples with excellent recovery, consistency and purity, virtually zero cross contamination and minimal hands on time.

We welcome opportunities for collaboration or business partnership; enquiries can be directed to Mr Drew Worth: