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J Lab Autom. 2013 Oct;18(5):404-10. doi: 10.1177/2211068213484472. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Evaluation of four automated protocols for extraction of DNA from FTA cards.

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  • 11University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Extraction of DNA using magnetic bead-based techniques on automated DNA extraction instruments provides a fast, reliable, and reproducible method for DNA extraction from various matrices. Here, we have compared the yield and quality of DNA extracted from FTA cards using four automated extraction protocols on three different instruments. The extraction processes were repeated up to six times with the same pieces of FTA cards. The sample material on the FTA cards was either blood or buccal cells. With the QIAamp DNA Investigator and QIAsymphony DNA Investigator kits, it was possible to extract DNA from the FTA cards in all six rounds of extractions in sufficient amount and quality to obtain complete short tandem repeat (STR) profiles on a QIAcube and a QIAsymphony SP. With the PrepFiler Express kit, almost all the extractable DNA was extracted in the first two rounds of extractions. Furthermore, we demonstrated that it was possible to successfully extract sufficient DNA for STR profiling from previously processed FTA card pieces that had been stored at 4 °C for up to 1 year. This showed that rare or precious FTA card samples may be saved for future analyses even though some DNA was already extracted from the FTA cards.


DNA extraction; FTA cards; forensic genetics; laboratory automation; magnetic beads

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