Used QIAGEN DNA/RNA Purification Systems
Originally called Diagen, the company that would later become QIAGEN began as a research spin-off of Dusseldorf's Henrich-Heine University in 1984. QIAGEN debuted the Plasmid-Kit, a kit used to streamline plasmid preparation, two years later and netted six figures in sales.
By 1996, QIAGEN had expanded into process automation with the unveiling of the BioRobot 9600. The company and its product offering continued to grow, eventually becoming a global leader in the automation of DNA/RNA purification. While the sales of reagents and other consumables dwarf their instrumentation sales (see page 4), QIAGEN's purification systems are still bigger than ever.
Two of their current flagship platforms -- the QIAsymphony and the QIAcube -- frequently come through our tech shop. Below you'll find information on the difference between them, what the market looks like for used purification systems, and more.
Notable Product Lines
Designed to work with QIAGEN's spin-column kits, the QIAcube is a compact, all-in-one purification system that utilizes centrifugation to extract genetic material.
While it's not especially fast (in fact, doing manual purification can sometimes be faster than the QIAcube), its capabilities have one major advantage over manual labor: it nullifies the margin for error. This is a huge plus for any sort of precise work like DNA extraction. Regardless, you'll still save time because you can focus on other tasks while the QIAcube hums along in the background.
The QIAsymphony is a modular DNA/RNA sample preparation and purification platform. It's considerably more flexible than the QIAcube and is able to connect to other QIAGEN automation platforms. It uses magnetic bead separation to extract genetic material as opposed to the QIAcube's centrifuge.
In the words of our senior technician, the QIAsymphony "eats the 'Cube alive" in terms of throughput. Its bandwidth makes it much better suited for high-demand labs than the QIAcube.
Why Buy a Used QIAGEN DNA/RNA Purification System?
- You save money: Brand-new QIAGEN systems can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, our tested, warranted QIAsymphonies typically cost less than $20,000, and our QIAcubes clock in at less than $7,000 – so all the cash you save buying pre-owned can be dedicated to extraction kits and other consumables.
- Eco-friendly: By supporting the used equipment economy, you're helping us extend the life of these perfectly functional instruments and keep them out of landfills.
What to Look For in a Used QIAGEN Purification System
Unlike many automated systems, both the QIAcube and the QIAsymphony run their own onboard software. You won't need to worry about getting a PC, software, cables, etc. That said, there are a few important things to consider when shopping the used market.
When buying a QIAcube, you'll want to find a unit that has all 12 centrifuge buckets included. Those buckets are proprietary, and purchasing them directly from QIAGEN will cost you a pretty penny.
Additionally, ensure that the unit you buy is confirmed to initialize properly when the hood is shut. Occasionally, a QIAcube countering an initialization error may only throw it when the hood is shut, which in turn prevents you from using the system.
Finally, you should consider the condition of the rotor. Centrifuge rotors can only withstand so much usage before they start develop fatigue, which can manifest as thin cracks.If you see these signs in the photos of the item, keep in mind you may have to purchase a new rotor.
The key factor to consider when looking for a QIAsymphony is deckware. As long as it has the standard deckware included, it should be ready for use upon arrival.
Buy from a Trusted Seller Like New Life Scientific
While new equipment can be expensive, buying used can involve a lot of uncertainty. Working with the right seller can eliminate much of the risk associated with investing in used equipment. Thanks to our technical team's extensive experience servicing QIAGEN systems, you can have confidence in the functionality of our DNA purification systems.