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Benefits of VYVID™ Superparamagnetic Silica in Medical Diagnostics

Upgrading DNA Analysis with VYVID™ Superparamagnetic Silica

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The field of medical diagnostics continues to grow, with some market projections showing it could reach $140 billion by 2027 (source: Markets and Markets). However, the goal remains the same—to improve testing by producing more accurate results, faster turnaround times and requiring lower sample volumes.

Every step of the diagnostic process presents an opportunity to increase overall accuracy and performance. In particular, the process of purifying nucleic acids using magnetic beads can be challenging—oftentimes the beads can have a limited nucleic acid binding capacity and can demonstrate inconsistent or delayed magnetic response, which leads to an inefficient separation.

That’s why Grace developed VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica products , to enhance the rapid isolation and purification of nucleic acids – without the use of columns and centrifugations.

VYVID Superparamagnetic Silica: An Attractive Solution

VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica contains an iron core with a silica outer layer that becomes magnetized under an external magnetic field but reverts to a nonmagnetic state once the field is removed. According to Dr. Reno Nguyen, principal scientist and purification technology manager at Grace, a quick magnetic response is important for enabling efficient separation, as the beads can be resuspended and separated immediately in the bulk liquid during the multiple wash cycles and then final elution step. Also of importance, the very low residual magnetism of VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica ensures better analyte recovery.

While the superparamagnetic core enables faster magnetic switching, the porous silica coating solves the binding capacity limitations by increasing the surface area. “This is especially important when you are trying to detect things that are present in very low quantities,” Dr. Nguyen says. “The better the binding, the better the chance that you capture the molecule you want, even at low concentrations.”

Superparamagnetic Silica and Medical Diagnostics

One application in which high binding is necessary is tracking the DNA cancer release into the bloodstream, known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). ctDNA provides information such as the variant of cancer or the presence of residual cancer cells after surgical removal. Analyzing this material is challenging because ctDNA is typically present in very low concentrations, “and you only have a small sample,” Nguyen says. “If you do not have the capability to catch that ctDNA, you can’t detect it.” VYVID™’s high binding capacity lets scientists capture and analyze this ctDNA, which can assist with diagnosis and treatment.

Many magnetic beads leach iron into solution, causing a yellow discoloration that could interfere with the purification process. Relying on our decades of experience as a silica manufacturer, we have developed a silica coating for VYVID™ that limits iron contamination, which may improve the accuracy and reproducibility of certain tests.

More Applications for VYVID Superparamagnetic Silica

VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica is highly versatile and can be used in applications that go beyond conventional diagnostics. One of the most exciting opportunities is automated testing, in which many samples can be processed simultaneously using robotics. This technology has been especially useful in detecting COVID-19 as allows for extremely rapid testing.

VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica can also used in many applications outside medical diagnostics. For instance, in drug discovery, this silica can be used in high-throughput screening processes. And forensics experts use VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica to extract DNA from trace samples. Also, environmental scientists can detect which metals are in wastewater or soil samples.

We’ve only just begun to unlock the possibilities for VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica. With its quick magnetic response, increased binding capacity and minimal iron leaching, VYVID™ superparamagnetic silica helps you deliver efficient and effective results. Contact our team today to explore working with Grace on your next project.