Automated Nucleic Acid Sample Quality Control in NGS Workflows

25. 3. 2020

Importance of Nucleic Acid Quality Control in Next-Generation Sequencing As biological molecules, DNA and RNA are fragile compounds that can undergo fast degradation if not handled with precaution and stored under optimal conditions. Poor nucleic acid sample quality may have a direct impact on the results of downstream experiments including next generation sequencing (NGS). NGS library preparation is a time consuming and lengthy process, typically involving enzymatic or physical DNA fragmentation and multiple amplification and ligation reactions, followed by sample clean-up steps. Due to the labor, specialized chemistry, and analysis of large datasets, NGS remains an expensive process from start to finish. To prevent a garbage-in, garbage-out situation and avoid a loss of time and money, strict quality control (QC) steps to monitor the starting material, intermediate products, and final libraries are recommended for all protocols of major vendor library preparation kits. The ideal QC solution would be easy-to-use, economical, flexible, and sensitive, while simultaneously providing timely results that are accurate and reliable. In addition to sample concentration and purity, QC results encompass size distribution as well as degradation status and sample integrity. The Agilent TapeStation systems, based on ScreenTape technology, offer significant advantages including exceptional ease-of-use in combination with constant cost per sample. ScreenTape devices are ready to use, credit card sized, disposable gels that allow for automated separation of up to 96 samples per run. The ability to use unused gel lanes at a later time guarantees a consistent low price per sample.These key advantages makes the TapeStation system the ideal solution for NGS sample QC.

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