Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Full Genetic DNA Data Available in Minutes

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 20 May 2013
Print article
Image: Close-up view of the microtip probes of the device (Photo courtesy of NanoFacture).
Image: Close-up view of the microtip probes of the device (Photo courtesy of NanoFacture).
A new device can extract human DNA from a swab of saliva, providing full analysis and genome sequencing data within minutes.

Developed by researchers at the University of Washington (UW, Seattle, WA, USA) and NanoFacture (Bellevue, WA, USA), the new device uses microscopic probes that dip into a fluid sample—saliva, sputum, or blood—and apply an electric field within the liquid that attracts particles to concentrate around the surface of the probe. Larger particles hit the tip and swerve away, but DNA-sized molecules stick to the probe and are trapped on the surface via capillary action. It takes two or three minutes to separate and purify DNA using this technology.

The hand-held device can clean four separate human fluid samples at once, but the technology can be scaled up to prepare 96 samples at a time, which is standard for large-scale handling. Engineers at the University of Washington, which developed the technology, have also designed a pencil-sized device using the same probe technology that could be sent home with patients or distributed to those serving in the military overseas. Patients could swab their cheeks, collect a saliva sample, and process their DNA on the spot to send back to hospitals and labs for analysis.

“It’s very complex to extract DNA,” said lead researcher Jae-Hyun Chung, PhD, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at UW. “When you think of the current procedure, the equivalent is like collecting human hairs using a construction crane.”

Conventional methods use a centrifuge to spin and separate DNA molecules or strain them from a fluid sample with a micro-filter, but these processes take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can require excessive toxic chemicals. The new device will give hospitals and research labs an easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples, which will help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis, and forensic investigations.

Related Links:

University of Washington
NanoFacture



Print article

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Photo courtesy of the CDC).

Drug Combination Cures MRSA Infection While Preventing Development of Resistance

Treatment with a combination comprising the well-known antibiotic cefdinir and the experimental drug TXA709 cured mice of drug-resistant staphylococcal infections while reducing the development of resistance.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Business

view channel

Acquisition to Boost Development of Drugs for Neurogenic Conditions

According to a recent announcement, a privately held biotechnology/drug development company is to be acquired by one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The drug manufacturer Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ, USA) has agreed to pay 500 million USD up front for Afferent Pharmaceuticals (San Mateo, CA, USA) and up... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.