• Purify total RNA and viral RNA from diverse sample types
  • Obtain high RNA yields from a broad range of sample sizes
  • Recover RNA samples in 20–50 µl
  • Use manual or robotic sample processing


Magnetic beads offer many benefits for isolating RNA from cells and viral RNA from cell-free samples. For example, compared to glass fiber filter-based methods, Ambion’s MagMAX™ technology (patent pending) eliminates problems with filter clogging due to particulates in the samples. In addition, since only a small volume of magnetic beads is needed for high efficiency binding, the bound RNA can be eluted in just 20–50 µl of nuclease free water. This makes the MagMAX magnetic bead technology extremely useful for concentrating RNA from large, dilute samples.

The quality and purity of the eluted RNA is suitable for most common downstream applications, such as qRT-PCR, microarray analysis, Northern blotting, and ribonuclease protection assays (RPA).

Mammalian Cells and Tissues

The MagMAX-96 Total RNA Isolation Kit is designed for rapid high throughput purification of total RNA in 96 well plates and is optimized for isolation of RNA from 25 to 2 x 106 cells and up to 10 mg of tissue. Fresh or flash-frozen cell and tissue samples can be used for total RNA isolation.

All of the MagMAX Kits use a guanidinium thiocyanate-based solution to rapidly solubilize cellular membranes and simultaneously inactivate nucleases [1-2]. The protocol in the MagMAX-96 for Microarrays Total RNA Isolation Kit offers scientists the option of using TRI Reagent® (patented product) for sample lysis. To maximize efficiency and success, Ambion provides two alternative protocols for the kit. The “Spin” method has fewer steps, requires no DNase treatment, and allows for larger sample amounts (up to 20 mg) to be processed. The “No Spin” method can easily be integrated with a robotic liquid handler. This is the recommended kit for high throughput sample processing for microarray experiments. (Samples may be fresh or flash-frozen; the Spin method can be used with samples treated with RNAlater®.)

Blood Samples

The MagMAX-96 Blood RNA Isolation Kit allows scientists to directly purify total and viral RNA from whole blood, which makes it ideal for high throughput applications and for veterinary molecular diagnostics. This kit can be used for RNA isolation from human, bovine, porcine, and ovine whole blood samples that were stored in sodium EDTA, potassium EDTA, heparin, or sodium citrate. Although RNA can be recovered from frozen samples, higher quality RNA is obtained from samples that have been stored at 4°C. The recovered RNA will be devoid of PCR inhibitors such as proteins and heme commonly found in RNA isolated from blood. The purified total RNA and viral RNA can be directly analyzed by qRT-PCR.

Viral Samples

Viral RNA can be recovered from cells and tissues (MagMAX-96 Total RNA Isolation Kit) or blood (MagMAX-96 Blood RNA Isolation Kit), but for cell-free samples, such as plasma, sera, nasal fluids, swabs, and milk, MagMAX-96 Viral RNA Isolation Kit is recommended for RNA and DNA isolation. The 96 well format MagMAX Viral kit can process samples sizes up to 50 µl each. High quality viral RNA suitable for qRT-PCR is efficiently purified using MagMAX technology.

Plant Tissues

For processing plant tissues, MagMAX-96 Total RNA Isolation Kit can be used with Ambion’s Plant Isolation Aid, which removes common plant contaminants such as polyphenolics and polysaccharides. Up to 10 mg of plant tissue can be processed for high quality total RNA.