Question: Can Gel Beads be stored at temperatures other than -80°C?
Answer: Gel Beads must be stored at -80°C. If gel beads are not stored properly, they may start to leak their oligos and may clump/aggregate. We recommend discarding them and using new Gel Beads.
Before use, Gel Beads must be equilibrated to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Do NOT thaw at 4°C. Make sure to vortex the room-temperature Gel Beads before chip loading to prevent Gel Bead clogs. If sample preparation takes longer than expected, Gel Beads should be returned to -80°C storage. Gel beads have been tested for up to 12 freeze thaw cycles.
After Gel Beads are placed at room temperature, allow the Gel Beads to fully equilibrate to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before returning them to -80°C storage, to avoid partial thawing and refreezing. Once Gel Beads are returned to -80°C storage, we recommend allowing >10 minutes for equilibration to -80°C before the Gel Beads can be placed at room temperature again for another experiment.
Some institutions recommend setting freezers to -70°C instead of -80°C to save energy. While we have extensively validated and recommend -80°C for storage of gel beads, it is likely to be low risk to store gel beads at -70°C if a -80°C freezer is not available.
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