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Comparison of Automated Extraction Systems


Automated Extraction Unit
Nucleic Acid Extraction Machine

Automated nucleic acid extraction machines improve workflow and decrease variability. We compared the Maelstrom automated extraction machines to other big brands and found them to be superior in more ways than one.


The Maelstrom 9610 can handle up to 96 samples per run, so when comparing it to other popular brands of this throughput we found that the Maelstrom 9610 accommodates protocol editing so you can customize your protocols depending on your needs, where many other brands had a closed system and did not have this capability. The run time of the Maelstrom 9610 is only 15-60 minutes, which is also faster than many other big brands’ machines. One brand was comparable with 60 minutes or less, but other brands are 60+ minutes, and some even range from 50-90 minutes. The processing volume also beats out the competition with 50 to 1,600 ul, as many of the other brands only accommodate 50 to 1,000 ul. Heating also wins out with temperatures up to 130°C, with the competition topping out at 115°C and some without heating at all. The Maelstrom 9610 also has a UV lamp for decontamination that many other brands do not have. Plus, it also contains a HEPA filter for the highest purity requirements in laboratories, while the competitors did not contain a HEPA filter. The Maelstrom 9610 also has pre-filled reagent kits so you don't have to purchase extra plates, tip combs, beads and buffers. You get everything in the ready-to-use extraction kits to make the process even simpler.


The Maelstrom 4810 can handle up to 48 samples per run, when comparing it to other popular brands of this throughput we found that the run time was better at 15-60 minutes, whereas competitors were around 30-70 minutes per run. The processing volume was also better, similar to the Maelstrom 9610, the Maelstrom 4810 can accommodate 50 to 1,600 ul while the other brands accommodate 50 to 1,000 ul. In addition, the Maelstrom 4810 has the ability to edit protocols so you can adjust and customize protocols based on experimental requirements, whereas the competitors do not have this option. Also, heating goes up to 130°C whereas other big brands only go up to 100°C. Furthermore, the Maelstrom 4810 has a HEPA filter whereas the other models do not.


The Maelstrom Switch 8 can handle up to 16 samples, which is actually more than many of the competitors which handle up to 14 at a max for their lower throughput models. The run time is also generally shorter than the other big brands which is 25-50 minutes for the Maelstrom Switch 8 and can be 45 minutes to up to 60 minutes for the competition. The processing volume also differs and wins out, the Maelstrom Switch 8’s low processing volume is 50 to 1,600 ul and its high processing volume is 100 to 10,000 ul, while the competition has low processing volumes from 50 to 1,000 ul and high processing volumes of 200 to 5,000 ul. Similar to the other Maelstrom models, the heating maxes out at 130°C, whereas the other brands max out at 95°C at most.


A major difference between all the Maelstrom systems and the other brands is that the Maelstrom systems use a patented spin mixing technology that controls the speed via a rotary apparatus to avoid liquid splashing during the extraction process. This eliminates cross contamination, whereas other brands use an up and down mixing method that can create splashing and cross contamination.


Overall, we have found that there are many differences between the Maelstrom series and competitors that should be taken into account when choosing an automated extraction system to be used for isolating DNA or RNA. Contact us for more information or for a quote.

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