I'm looking to comparing different protocols for minipreps for plasmid DNA purification. What factors should I be looking at? A few things come to mind:

  • Cost
  • Yield
  • Time per step
  • Replacement with other reagents
  • Spin vs. vacuum
  • Color and caps or lack thereof
  • $\begingroup$ Shopping advice is generally off-topic on all SE sites, and a question about the current price of columns is very localized in time and geographically. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2012 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a perfectly valid question. $\endgroup$
    – jp89
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ I would recommend re-framing this question in how to objectively evaluate columns for making your own column-based purification kits. I have some good advice for you if this question gets re-opened. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 3:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would not focus on awesthetic aspects like colour and caps. They don't influence the overall process or yield, and are just nice marketing aspects. The real things to consider are purity of extraction, quality of column resin, % yield, salt removal, flexibility of kit reagents and overall time and relative costs. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


Storage conditions and shelf life are some of the things that you should consider in comparing columns.


Seems like you have covered the essentials here. I can't think of anything else.

Since the Qiagen patent on spin prep columns ran out, these kits are very cheap - $0.40 each? In the 3 or 4 kits Ive used, they all seem to use the same protocol and about the same buffers, so there might be differences in quality or yield but if so, they are small.

You can even make your own buffers as the recipes are on open wet ware. None of the kits i've used has suggested that these buffers can't be used. They even usually call the buffers by the same names.

So your application would have be pretty discriminating to differentiate. Even if this were the case, the quality could probably be improved a lot just by washing the column more. Can you provide more details about how a few percent one way or another might be an issue?

  • $\begingroup$ I guess that it really doesn't matter. I guess we need to form a community wiki. $\endgroup$
    – bobthejoe
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 21:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Congrats shigeta on being the first user to reach 5000 reputation! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 15:06

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