Congratulations! You have collected your urine sample. What do you do now? Do you…
- Leave it at room temperature and risk degradation of precious DNA and RNA
- Freeze it at -80°C and lose yield due to protein precipitation
- Use a preservative (hint, it’s this one)
Preservation of urine samples is a hot topic, as many experiments involve collection of urine at an ancillary site and transportation or storage before it can be processed in the lab. Urine preservation at room temperature is incredibly useful, as the common practice of freezing samples has been a hurdle in research due to complications that can occur. These complications include the loss of valuable biomarkers as well as the cost and logistics of cold-chain storage.
Below, we present the top 5 reasons why you should use a chemical preservative the next time you collect urine samples!
1. Skip the Freezing
Freezing urine samples has long been the traditional gold standard for preservation and storage. Typically, after collection, storage at -70°C is immediately performed in secondary collection facilities in order to prevent rapid nucleic acid degradation. Freezing tends to result in precipitation of the abundant protein found in urine - uromodulin. This protein creates a polymeric mesh in the frozen urine sample, trapping valuable biomarker molecules. The problem arises when these trapped molecules are removed within the precipitate, lowering the overall yield of potential biomarkers, such as nucleic acids. Sounds like a headache, right? Imagine going through an entire purification protocol just to end up with very low yields due to the storage method. By using preservatives, the negative effects of freezing can be completely avoided.
2. Room Temperature Storage, Right At Home
Secondary facility storage requires pesky shipping and handling. Instead, imagine if you could take care of the collection and preservation right at home? Norgen’s preservative allows for room temperature storage for two years, preserving the widest variety of analytes compared to other preservatives on the market. These analytes include RNA, DNA, protein, cells and exosomes. This saves on costs for shipping and storage, while also simplifying the process and making it infinitely more comfortable and convenient for the patient.
Traveling to a doctor’s office for urine sample collection can be stressful and uncomfortable. However, the use of a chemical preservative can minimize the difficulty of sample collection and increase patient compliance in your research. Our Urine Collection and Preservation products come in various sizes for any research requirement, including a single dose ampoule, which preserves a flexible volume of urine (5-120mL) in any container of your choice. With the convenience of immediate preservation, your focus can remain on the purification and downstream analysis, which is where you will see the true benefits of using a high-quality preservative.
4. Wide Compatibility
Many studies involve examining multiple types and species of biomarkers, however, using a separate collection system for each analyte is expensive and inconvenient. Norgen’s products preserve the highest variety of bioanalytes, including DNA, cell-free DNA, RNA, cell-free RNA, exosomes, exfoliated cells, bacterial cells and viruses. The preservative reliably stores the urine samples until further analysis such as cell-free DNA purification, cell-free RNA purification, exfoliated cell and bacteria RNA purification, etc. Using a preservative also prepares you for downstream applications after your purification process, such as Next Generation Sequencing.
5. Inactivates Viruses and Inhibits Bacterial Growth
Bacterial growth during sample storage poses a serious risk to sample integrity and can bias downstream analysis. Furthermore, infectious biological samples can present health risks to researchers. Norgens urine preservative inhibits bacterial growth in samples (for Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and fungi) and inactivates viruses within 72 hours, allowing the samples to be handled and shipped safely while maintaining integrity.
With the convenience of immediately preserving urine samples at the point of collection while rendering them safe for shipping and handling, chemical preservatives have numerous advantages over freezing.
If you’re interested in learning more, download our free infographic, “Unlocking the Importance of Urine Biomarkers: From Discovery to Diagnosis”. If you would like to try our urine preservative in your lab, request a sample!
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