Study of microtip-based extraction and purification of DNA from human samples for portable devices
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DNA sample preparation is essential for genetic analysis. However, rapid and easy-to-use methods are a major challenge to obtaining genetic information. Furthermore, DNA sample preparation technology must follow the growing need for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics. The current use of centrifuges, large robots, and laboratory-intensive protocols has to be minimized to meet the global challenge of limited access healthcare by bringing the lab to patients through POC devices. To address these challenges, a novel extraction method of genomic DNA from human samples is presented by using heat-cured polyethyleneimine-coated microtips generating a high electric field. The microtip extraction method is based on recent work using an electric field and capillary action integrated into an automated device. The main challenges to the method are: (1) to obtain a stable microtip surface for the controlled capture and release of DNA and (2) to improve the recovery of DNA from samples with a high concentration of inhibitors, such as human samples. The present study addresses these challenges by investigating the heat curing of polyethyleneimine (PEI) coated on the surface of the microtip. Heat-cured PEI-coated microtips are shown to control the capture and release of DNA. Protocols are developed for the extraction and purification of DNA from human samples. Heat-cured PEI-coated microtip methods of DNA sample preparation are used to extract genomic DNA from human samples. It is discovered through experiment that heat curing of a PEI layer on a gold-coated surface below 150°C could inhibit the signal of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Below 150°C, the PEI layer is not completely cured and dissolved off the gold-coated surface. Dissolved PEI binds with DNA to inhibit PCR. Heat curing of a PEI layer above 150°C on a gold-coated surface prevents inhibition to PCR and gel electrophoresis. In comparison to gold-coated microtips, the 225°C-cured PEI-coated microtips improve the recovery of DNA to 45% efficiency. Furthermore, the 225°C-cured PEI-coated microtips recover more DNA than gold-coated microtips when the surface is washed. Heat-cured (225°C) PEI-coated microtips are used for the recovery of human genomic DNA from whole blood. A washing protocol is developed to remove inhibiting particles bound to the PEI-coated microtip surface after DNA extraction. From 1.25 μL of whole blood, an average of 1.83 ng of human genomic DNA is captured, purified, and released using a 225°C-cured PEI-coated microtip in less than 30 minutes. The extracted DNA is profiled by short tandem repeat analysis (STR). For forensic and medical applications, genomic DNA is extracted from dried samples using heat-cured PEI-coated microtips that are integrated into an automated device. DNA extraction from dried samples is critical for forensics. The use of dried samples in the medical field is increasing because dried samples are convenient for storage, biosafety, and contamination. The main challenge is the time required to properly extract DNA in a purified form. Typically, a 1 hour incubation period is required to complete this process. Overnight incubation is sometimes necessary. To address this challenge, a pre-extraction washing step is investigated to remove inhibiting particles from dried blood spots (DBS) before DNA is released from dried form into solution for microtip extraction. The developed protocol is expanded to extract DNA from a variety of dried samples including nasal swabs, buccal swabs, and other forensic samples. In comparison to a commercial kit, the microtip-based extraction reduced the processing time from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes or less with an equivalent concentration of extracted DNA from dried blood spots. The developed assay will benefit genetic studies on newborn screening, forensic investigation, and POC diagnostics.
- Mechanical engineering