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The Knight lab did a 1 day evaluation of the QiaCube.

Here are some observations and results...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It costs about $0.13 per sample in additional plastic (beyond the kit itself).
  5. A miniprep of 8 samples takes about 50 minutes, 12 samples takes about 58 minutes.
  6. 12 sample max


  1. Standardization
  2. Save time by not doing the prep yourself


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You can't heat the elution buffer (which can improve yield).
  4. The robot is incapable of reloading flow through onto a column a second time (useful for low copy minipreps).
  5. You can't save copies of existing protocols with different settings.

Outstanding issues

  1. 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.