The Knight lab did a 1 day evaluation of the QiaCube.
Here are some observations and results...
- The yield from a 5mL LB culture prep of pUC19 was 80-85 ng/μL using the default QiaPrep Miniprep protocol with an single elution volume of 50 μL.
- The yield from an 8mL LB culture prep of pSB3T5-I52001 (p15A origin) was 30 ng/μL using the default QiaPrep Miniprep protocol with an single elution volume of 50 μL.
- The yields from 8mL LB culture preps of pSB4K5 (with two different inserts, multiple colonies) were 6ng/μL, 11ng/μL, 14ng/μL, 18ng/μL, 21ng/μL, 29ng/μL using the low copy QiaPrep Miniprep protocol with a single elution volume of 30 μL. I am not sure why I saw such a high variance ... the cell pellets seemed to be approximately the same size.
- It costs about $0.13 per sample in additional plastic (beyond the kit itself).
- A miniprep of 8 samples takes about 50 minutes, 12 samples takes about 58 minutes.
- 12 sample max
- Save time by not doing the prep yourself
- Currently the minimum elution volume for a double elution is 50 μL for each elution (this may be fixable). The minimum elution volume for a single elution is 30 μL.
- Each new protocol variant costs $400 and has a 10 day turnaround time (potentially addressable). Totally new protocols may cost more and take more time.
- You can't heat the elution buffer (which can improve yield).
- The robot is incapable of reloading flow through onto a column a second time (useful for low copy minipreps).
- You can't save copies of existing protocols with different settings.
- Could we go directly from a miniprep to a digestion step using this robot? This would definitely require a custom protocol but it is not clear that the robot can do this.