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Amplified DNA Product Separation for Forensic Analysts

ABI Prism 373 and 377 DNA Sequencer

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ABI Prism 373 and 377 DNA Sequencer
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

ABI offered two gel-based real-time instruments, the ABI Prism® 373 and 377. In the mid to late 1990's, the ABI Prism® 377 DNA Sequencers were the most popular real-time instrument platforms for amplified DNA product separation. For the purpose of this discussion, the ABI Prism® 377 DNA Sequencers will be used, but it should be noted that both instrument platforms operate similarly.

The ABI Prism® 377 DNA Sequencers allow for simultaneous migration of amplified DNA products in different size ranges, which are multiplexed with different color fluorophores. The ABI Prism® 373 and 377 DNA Sequencers, as well as the ABI capillary electrophoresis instruments, allow for multi-component analysis, which is the process that separates the different fluorescent dye colors into distinct spectral components. The process of fluorescence detection is discussed in the next module.

Slab-gel electrophoresis methods provided the forensic community with a mechanism to separate and detect amplified DNA. Today, with the advances in technology and the need for increased automation, the majority of the forensic community has moved to the capillary-based systems. However, a few laboratories still use the ABI Prism® 377 DNA Sequencer or FMBIO®.

Capillary electrophoresis (CE) offers ease of use, high resolution, minimal sample consumption, speed, on-line detection, minimized cross-contamination concerns, and is fully automatable. Additionally, CE provides quantitative information. The next module will cover CE methods in detail.

Journals presenting different electrophoretic techniques:

  • Analytica Chimica Acta
  • Analytical Biochemistry
  • Chromatographia
  • Electrophoresis
  • Journal of Chromatography A
  • Journal of Chromatography B
  • Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
  • Journal of Proteome Research
  • Journal of Separation Science
  • Proteomics

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