New high-performance air-dryable PCR reagents make simple, cost-effective dried assay development a reality

Photo of PCR Biosystem's Air-Dryable Probe 1-Step Mix reagent

PCR Biosystems has launched Air-Dryable Probe 1-Step Mix, a versatile all-in-one, air-dryable 4x RT-qPCR reagent mix for ultra-sensitive detection of RNA and DNA sequences. With this kit, the robust performance of the company’s liquid PCR reagents can be brought to dried assay formats using a standard laboratory oven, offering a simpler, faster, and cheaper alternative to lyophilisation (freeze-drying).

Now, a larger base of assay kit developers, including smaller organisations with fewer resources, can access the advantages of dried assays — shorter time-to-market, simplified logistics and storage, and significantly reduced costs. Sectors set to realise such benefits include clinical, veterinary, food, environmental and agricultural testing.

The costly cold-chain shipping and storage demands of traditional ‘wet’ RT-qPCR reagents and tests are increasingly driving assay developers toward dried test formats. But while lyophilised assays have emerged as a powerful option that can reduce test weight, volume, and transport and storage requirements, they can be out of reach for smaller, resource-strapped organisations. This is because lyophilisation requires expensive, specialised equipment, deep technical expertise, and extensive drying times. Outsourcing lyophilisation alleviates some of this burden, but it entails loss of process control. 

With the new air-dryable kits, drying can be done in just 80 minutes with a simple laboratory oven, without extensive training, and at a much lower cost. As a result, organisations unable to build onsite lyophilisation capabilities can now create high-performance dried assays in-house, with full control over the drying process and quality control steps. The new kits also do not suffer from the restrictive drying protocol rigidity that can often complicate lyophilisation. Further, air-dried assays are less susceptible to moisture and so do not require the strict humidity control during manufacturing that is needed with lyophilised tests. This is particularly useful in high-humidity regions and allows local diagnostic kit developers to more confidently expand their portfolio into dried formats.

As with the company’s lyophilisable mixes, the air-dryable mixes retain performance after reconstitution. Kits also come with the company’s renowned technical support to ensure smooth troubleshooting and optimal results, and free samples are available.

“Dryable reagents are redefining the ease and convenience with which PCR assays are being developed, distributed, and used. Lyophilisation has played a huge part here, but barriers to its adoption have seen smaller companies get left behind.” said Alex Wilson, co-founder of PCR Biosystems. “Our air-dryable mixes erode barriers to drying, so even with minimal resources, developers can get superior-quality dried assays to the point of care, efficiently. This is the latest step in our journey to place simple, cost-effective, and high-performing tests within reach of all.”

The new kits comprise a glycerol-free 4x qPCR mix with hot start Taq polymerase, dNTPs, MgCl2 and a blend of excipients for reliable drying without activity loss. A more stable version of UltraScript Reverse Transcriptase and RiboShield™ RNase inhibitor are blended into the mix, providing a more convenient single-tube format. Kits can be used for both RNA and DNA detection for greater versatility, and dried assays are stable for 3 months at 37 °C.

Critically, PCR Biosystems is certified to conform to Quality Management System standard ISO 13485, ensuring full product traceability, and optimum lot-to-lot consistency. Assay developers can therefore be confident in using the new air-dryable kits to create the highest-quality tests.

For more information about the Air-Dryable Probe 1-Step Kit, please visit PCR Biosystems’ dedicated product page. Free samples can be requested via this form.

About PCR Biosystems

PCR Biosystems is a London-based, UK manufacturer of PCR kits and reagents for molecular biology diagnostics and research. Founded in 2012 by two PCR experts, the company has developed a range of PCR reagents that maximise speed and sensitivity from the simplest to most challenging of reactions. The company’s portfolio covers a broad range of applications including long range PCR, high fidelity PCR, and molecular diagnostic PCR. ISO 13485:2016 certification means customers have the assurance that products and processes meet the required standards and regulations for the manufacturing of medical device components. PCR Biosystems offers a broad range of standard and custom solutions including bulk supply of reagents, OEM manufacturing and expert technical support to help customers achieve the most from their market-leading enzymes. Today, PCR Biosystems has an international team and a global network of distributors supplying customers in over 40 countries worldwide. 

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