The Qubit RNA IQ Assay Kit provides a fast, simple method to check whether an RNA sample has degraded using the Qubit 4 Fluorometer (required). The assay utilizes two unique dyes: one that binds to large, intact and/or highly structured RNA (mRNA, tRNA, rRNA), and another that selectively binds to small and/or, degraded RNA. Together they enable you to quickly assess the quality and integrity of an RNA sample.
To use, simply add your samples to the RNA IQ working solution, then measure on the Qubit 4 Fluorometer. Results are presented as an RNA IQ number (RNA IQ#) that indicates the RNA sample integrity and quality, and also as a calculated percent of large and small RNA in the sample. The RNA IQ# is a value from 1 to 10, similar to other RNA quality scores, where a small number indicates that the sample is comprised of mainly small RNA and a larger number indicates that the sample consists of mainly large RNA or RNA with tertiary structure.
Solution-based compared to electrophoresis methods
The RNA IQ assay results correlate well with electrophoretic methods. The primary difference between the solution-based RNA IQ assay and traditional electrophoresis-based techniques is the amount of time it takes to ascertain whether an RNA sample has degraded. Gels are considered easy to perform, but still take time to run. Microfluidic-based methods not only take time to obtain results, but often have lengthy procedures to prepare the samples. Gel or microfluidic-based electrophoresis is still recommended to obtain fragment size information or size distribution of the RNA sample.