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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Removing RNA

What is Alconox's recommendation for removing RNA from laboratory equipment?

The basis of our two recommendations for the removal of RNA from laboratory equipment is the principle that alkali can hydrolyze RNA down to mononucleotides.

First recommendation requires adding bleach hypochlorite to 1% Alconox Powdered Precision Cleaner (pH 9.5). Alconox Powdered Precision Cleaner is designed for manual, soak, and ultrasonic tank cleaning of glass, metal, and plastic. No interfering residues will be left behind when rinsed with adequate amounts of RNA-free water. Note the working concentration Alconox recommended here is a starting point, higher concentrations may be required to achieve desired results.

Our second recommendation is 0.5 - 1% Detojet Low Foaming Liquid Detergent pH 12. Detojet is a liquid detergent that can be used manually, in ultrasonic tanks as well as in labware and machine washers. It is corrosion inhibited for glass, metal and plastic and when properly rinsed, leaves no interfering residues. When working with Detojet appropriate safety precautions need to be taken when handling, i.e. safety goggles, gloves, lab coat, etc. Detojet contains KOH and an active chlorine compound, so there is no need to add bleach. The working concentration of Detojet recommended here is a starting point, higher concentrations may be required to achieve desired results.

In either case, Alconox +bleach or Detojet alone, there needs to be cleaner - surface contact time that you will need to determine. Again, the basis of this is alkali can hydrolyze RNA down to mononucleotides, but the alkali needs to come in contact with the surface for 8-16 hours to ensure hydrolysis is complete. This can be accelerated as the temperature of the solution is increased, as overnight at 37 C or 1-2 hours at 65 or 75 deg C. Following contact period with alkali cleaner, adequate rinsing with RNA-free water is required. Also, before exposing laboratory equipment to any alkali for extended periods of time, testing needs to conducted to ensure no damage to equipment surface or substrate.

At Alconox we understand how important it is to have clean laboratory equipment, and recognize that any "leftover" RNA (or DNA or protein) could potentially contaminate your next experiment, we suggest that you analytically test for removal of these substances.

Click here for Alconox technical bulletin.

Click here for Detojet technical bulletin.

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