Method for ensuring surgical instruments are RNase-free

Richard V. Giles giles at
Sat Dec 19 05:38:20 EST 1998

jdwalls at wrote:
>   "Andrew G." <gosbella at> wrote:
> > I am looking for methods for preparing surgical instruments to ensure that
> > they are free of DNA, RNA, DNases & RNases.
> There are a number of commercial products available that will accomplish what
> you want, such as RNAse-Zap, RNAase-off, etc..but since these are durable
> materials, you might consider soaking them in stong basic (pH 8+)solution,
> rinsing in distilled, deionized water, then autoclaving.  The base will
> hydrolyse any nucleic acids, and autoclaving will inactivate any DN/RNAses.

Autoclaving, by itself, will not destroy RNases. My suggestion is to
immerse said surgical instruments in a freshly prepared 0.1% solution of
DEPC in water and then autoclave.

Richard V. Giles Ph.D.
School of Biological Sciences
University of Liverpool
Tel +44/151 794 4389
Fax +44/151 794 4349

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