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Anal Chem. 2007 Mar 1;79(5):1881-9. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Integrated portable polymerase chain reaction-capillary electrophoresis microsystem for rapid forensic short tandem repeat typing.

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UCSF/UC Berkeley Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, and Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


A portable forensic genetic analysis system consisting of a microfluidic device for amplification and separation of short tandem repeat (STR) fragments as well as an instrument for chip operation and four-color fluorescence detection has been developed. The microdevice performs polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a 160-nL chamber and capillary electrophoresis (CE) in a 7-cm-long separation channel. The instrumental design integrates PCR thermal cycling, electrophoretic separation, pneumatic valve fluidic control, and four-color laser excited fluorescence detection. A quadruplex Y-chromosome STR typing system consisting of amelogenin and three Y STR loci (DYS390, DYS393, DYS439) was developed and used for validation studies. The multiplex amplification of these 4 loci with 35 PCR cycles followed by CE separation and 4-color fluorescence detection was completed in 1.5 h. All the amplicons can be detected with a limit of detection of 20 copies of male standard DNA in the reactor. Real-world forensic analyses of oral swab and human bone extracts from case evidence were also successfully performed. Mixture analysis demonstrated that a balanced profile can be obtained even at a male-to-female template ratio of 1:10. The successful development and operation of this portable PCR-CE system establishes the feasibility of rapid point-of-analysis DNA typing of forensic casework, of mass disaster samples or of individuals at a security checkpoint.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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