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Microfabricated Capillary Array Electrophoresis Genetic Analyzers for Forensic Short Tandem Repeat DNA Profiling

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2008
117 pages
This project’s goal was to develop faster, more reliable, higher throughput, more sensitive, and more thoroughly integrated technologies for forensic short tandem repeat (STR) identification.
The project succeeded in developing a high-throughput 96 channel microfabricated capillary array electrophoresis wafer system and confocal rotary fluorescence scanner and then demonstrated its effectiveness in performing forensic STR separations with conventional commercial multiplex kits. This new microchip forensic analysis system was transitioned to the forensic laboratory at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, where its practicality for routine forensic analysis was established. In addition, the project developed a modified version of the PowerPlex 16 STR kit that uses energy-transfer dye labeling for enhanced signal strengths for improved STR fragment separation and detection. The project also developed a portable single channel forensic analysis instrument that includes the steps of PCR amplification, sample and standard injection, separation, and fluorescence detection in a single integrated chip and instrument. Other project achievements were the performance of initial feasibility studies using gel-supported oligonucleotide capture matrixes for the concentration and purification of amplified STR products for enhanced sensitivity capillary electrophoresis injection and analysis, as well as the development of a table top version of the 96 channel rotary scanner and chip system. The latter will facilitate the wide use of this new technology by laboratories that desire both low and high throughput. The description of research methods focuses on the evaluation of microfabricated capillary array electrophoresis (mCAE) and the development and validation of a prototype mCAE forensic scanner for the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. 4 tables, 15 figures, 57 references, and appended supplementary information

Date Published: September 1, 2008