Obtaining high-quality, intact RNA is the first, and often most critical, step in performing gene expression analysis. In order to isolate high-quality RNA, the tissue has to be either: a) processed immediately after harvest, b) snap-frozen, or c) stabilized in an intermediary solution to preserve RNA integrity and allow for storage. We offer several products designed specifically to stabilize and preserve the integrity of RNA either at the point of collection or even post-collection: RNAlater Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution; RNAlater-ICE Frozen Tissue Transition Solution; and THE RNA Storage Solution.

Product Selection Guide

Function Product Sample Types Description
RNAStabilization Products RNAlater Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution Cells and tissues Aqueous, nontoxic tissue storage reagent that rapidly permeates tissue to stabilize and protect cellular RNA
RNAlater-ICE Frozen Tissue Transition Solution Cells and tissues Prevents RNA degradation during tissue thawing
THE RNA Storage Solution Purified RNA Minimizes base hydrolysis by chelating free cations from solution with sodium citrate and by maintaining a low pH
Tempus® Blood RNA Tubes    Blood Evacuated blood tube designed to lyse and stabilize blood at the point of collection
LeukoLOCK Total RNA Isolation System Blood Globin-free RNA from RNAlater–stabilized leukocytes.   Anticoagulated blood is filter-fractionated, keeping only the leukocytes, and stabilized with RNAlater solution for storage

Revolutionary reagent minimizes the need to immediately freeze samples to preserve RNA

Once saturated in RNAlater solution, tissues can be removed, dissected, or weighed at room temperature, then returned to RNAlater solution for continued storage. Tissues treated with RNAlater solution and archived at –80°C can be subjected to 10 freeze/thaw cycles without affecting the quality of subsequently isolated RNA (Figure 1). Samples stored in RNAlater solution can be shipped on wet ice or even at room temperature if shipped overnight. Figure 2 shows data from a ribonuclease protection assay using RNA from tissue stored in RNAlater solution.

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RNA Stability of RNAlater-Treated Tissues After Multiple Freeze/Thaw Cycles
Figure 1. RNA Stability of RNAlater-Treated Tissues After Multiple Freeze/Thaw Cycles. Mouse heart and liver were dissected and placed in RNAlater solution. The tissues were frozen on dry ice and thawed at room temperature for the indicated number of cycles. RNA was isolated using RNAWIZ™, electrophoresed on a 1% formaldehyde/agarose gel, ethidium bromide stained, and photographed.
RNA Stability of RNAlater-Treated Tissues After Multiple Freeze/Thaw Cycles

Figure 2. Ribonuclease Protection Assay Using Mouse Tissues Stored in RNAlater Solution. Tissues were stored in RNAlater solution for 1 or 4 weeks at 4°C. RNA was isolated from each tissue and analyzed using the RPA III Kit.

RNA Stabilization Support Materials

TechNotes Articles

  • Make Time Stand Still with RNAlater - TechNotes 10(1): The Ambion RNAlater Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution that makes it possible for researchers to postpone RNA isolation for days, weeks, or even months after tissue collection without sacrificing RNA integrity.
  • Thaw Frozen Tissues Without Damaging RNA - TechNotes 10(2): RNAlater-ICE solution is a unique RNA-stabilizing solution—simply drop frozen tissues into RNAlater-ICE solution and walk away! The tissues thaw without risk of RNA degradation. Once thawed the tissues can be processed like fresh tissues.



  • RNAlater Solution Preserves Bacterial Gene Expression Profiles for Array Analysis: Here we show that RNAlater solution immediately stabilizes RNA expression profiles in both gram-positive and gram-negative species. RNA was isolated from the bacteria with and without RNAlater solution treatment, and RNA integrity was evaluated on the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and by membrane filter–based array analysis.

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