Non-Chaotropic Chemistry

Unique and proprietary core technology

Development of non-chaotropic chemistry by STRATEC Molecular marks a major milestone in the history of nucleic acid purification methods. Non-chaotropic chemistry is a chemical process that does not disrupt and denature the structure of macromolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids. Ions are ranked in the so-called Hofmeister series according to their ability to denature or stabilize proteins. Protein denaturing ions (chaotropic, or “aggressive”) such as guanidinium, isothiocyante or chlorate are on one side of the spectrum while protein stabilizing ions (non-chaotropic, or “gentle”) such as ammonium, phopshate or sulfate are on the other side of the spectrum.

Using non-chaotropic buffer conditions offers important advantages for nucleic acid sample preparation:

  1. Time savings through faster protocols

    Non-chaotropic conditions enable binding of nucleic acids in very low salt concentrations down to the low millimolar (mM) range. This is in sharp contrast to binding conditions required by chaotropic chemistry where 100-fold or higher concentrations in the molar (M) range are required to achieve efficient nucleic acid binding. Low salt concentrations reduce the number of washing steps and lead to faster protocols.

  2. Higher DNA yields from precious samples

    The non-chaotropic buffers provide improved reaction conditions for enzymes during sample lysis. This gentle chemical environment leads to highly efficient lysis of complex tissues and efficient protein degradation by lytic enzymes. In comparison to guanidium ions (which have a strong protein denaturing effect) the non-chaotropic salts used in various STRATEC Molecular kits actually create a stabilizing environment for lytic enzymes. The long-lasting activity of enzymes in non-chaotropic buffers leads to improved and maximized yields of DNA from complex and difficult samples.

  3. More intact DNA

    The non-chaotropic buffers provide a chemically more “gentle” environment for the nucleic acids as compared to buffers based on common chaotropic salts such as guanidinium. As a consequence, DNA purified with STRATEC Molecular non-chaotropic reagent systems is often more intact with less chemical degradation – crucial attributes for optimum assay performance.

The key advantages of non-chaotropic chemistry detailed above enable the creation of several unique solutions for sample preparation systems:

MSB® – Minimal Salt Binding: faster protocols without washing steps for DNA fragments
RTP® – Ready to Prep: carrier, lytic enzymes and internal standards all in one tube; stable at room temperature for samples containing pathogens
PSP® – Pre-analytical Sample Processing: DNA sample stabilization for stool, swab and saliva samples