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Novel Collection Device for Enhanced DNA Recovery and Release from Biological Stain Samples

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $487,884)

As submitted by the proposer: The goal of the proposed project is to develop and validate novel, highly efficient devices for collection of biologic samples from crime scenes. Success of DNA typing is related to the amount of target material recovered from an evidentiary item. Generally, the more DNA that is recovered, the better the chance is of obtaining a typing result that will be robust and reliable. One method of collecting stain materials is by swabbing. Recovery of DNA from a number of commercially-available swabs is known to be an inefficient process. The X-Swab TM (Diomics Corporation, Carlsbad, CA) is a unique bio-specimen collection material, composed of proprietary synthetic material Diamat, which can be dissolved under certain extraction conditions. Results using Diamat show swab yields of DNA from blood and saliva samples as high as 80-90% which far exceeds the performance of current stain collection devices. The yield of DNA, especially from low quantity samples, from Diamat out performed another collection device, i.e., the Copan 4N6FLOQSwab TM (Brescia, Italy), a device which is touted to maximize DNA collection and elution efficiency. These results were preliminary but very promising. We propose to develop and validate materials and devices, fashioned from synthetic polymeric materials available at Diomics, Inc., for effective collection of biological stains and efficient release of DNA from these devices. The initial material for development of a collection device is Diamat. Its properties should enable pick up of biologic stain materials from various substrates and because of its unique qualities, allow for release of a high portion of the DNA contained within the collection matrix. Co-polymeric formulations will be used to prepare the Diamat polymer under different conditions, as well as other polymers, separately or copolymerized, will be formulated. Time of reaction, temperatures and solvents for dissolving raw materials, drying times and conditions will be varied to determine optimum conditions for polymer synthesis. Variations will be tested by DNA quantitation and typing of biological samples and stains on various substrates. A superior technology that allows capturing greater amounts of biological materials from crime scenes and is engineered to release the captured DNA in a manner conducive to yield high quantities and quality, if present in a sample, will be of substantial benefit to law enforcement in developing more investigative leads, solving more crimes, excluding individuals not associated with limited quantity samples and ultimately result in significant savings for investigators and the laboratory. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 15, 2014