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Versa1100 Automated Processing of ForenSeq Kits

Versa1100 Automated Processing of ForenSeq Kits

Next-generation sequencing (NGS), also known as massively parallel sequencing (MPS), has emerged as a transformative technology, offering unparalleled precision, increased throughput, and broader applications compared to traditional methods like capillary electrophoresis (CE). In forensic field, NGS provides cost-effectiveness and a growing array of forensic markers that allows for a range of forensic identity applications, such as typing autosomal STRs approved by national databases, kinship analysis through mitochondrial typing and Y-STRs for familial searching and investigative genetic genealogy, and the identification of body fluids, age estimation, and DNA phenotyping.

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Despite its numerous advantages, the adoption of NGS in forensic practice has been hindered by the complexity and cost of library preparation protocols. NGS library preparation protocols are usually a multi-step process and require substantial hands-on time.  To ensure reliable and reproducible results, standardized sample preparation methods and stringent quality control measures are imperative. Automation solutions offer a compelling solution by executing intricate protocols with high precision, thereby reducing error rates and minimizing contamination risks associated with human interactions during reagent handling and sample processing. Additionally, the automation process streamlines workflows, leading to a reduction in overall cost per sample through decreased hands-on time and labor.

This application note presents three internal validation studies conducted using Aurora Biomed’s VERSA 1100 automation workstation and the industry-leading forensic NGS library preparation chemistry, the ForenSeq® workflow by Verogen Inc. The scripts were specifically designed for the ForenSeq Kintelligence Kit, the ForenSeq mtDNA Whole Genome Kit, and the ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit. The results demonstrate comparable reproducibility and sensitivity across both manual and automated workflows, showcasing the efficiency of Aurora’s VERSA 1100 liquid handling system in automating NGS workflows in accordance with forensic standards.