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Automating Differential Digestion Utilizing DNase I

Separating sperm cells via differential digestion from skin swabs is a time-consuming effort and with the ever-increasing amounts of backlog from sexual assault evidence collection kits (SAECK) automation has become a necessity, not a wish list item. Even with the addition of commercially available extraction instrument’s, sample processing capabilities still remain at a low threshold, Aurora Biomed used the Versa 1100 to look at other methods which aimed to minimize the three following pain points:

  • Elongated wash steps.
  • Multiple time-consuming centrifugation steps.
  • Low sample processing capabilities.

 

How is this achieved?

An automated DNase I workflow has been optimized to dramatically reduce and even eliminate these aspects, this, in turn, has allowed sample processing to rise exponentially whilst reducing the overall time of sample processing:

8 hours from start to finish

96 Samples per run

6x faster than conventional method

1 reallocated forensic scientist

The published report

This method is currently employed by crime labs, Oakland PD has published a vigorous validation on the VERSA 1100. Follow the links below to view the relevant notes from ciminalist Helena Wong:

Overall Workflow

Switching workflows is never an easy task, especially when there have been so many resources pooled into an existing method, however, when you look at the different pieces of the overall process, automation of selective degradation is far from outlandish:

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