Separating sperm cells via differential digestion from sample swabs is a time-consuming effort. With the ever-increasing amounts of backlog from sexual assault evidence collection kits (SAECK), the need for automated differential digestion analysis has become a necessity, not a wish list item. Even with the addition of commercially available extraction instruments, 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?
Automated differential digestion analysis of sperm cells utilizing 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 criminalist Helena Wong:
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: