A microfluidic device was developed to carry out integrated volume reduction and purification of nucleic acids from dilute, large volume biological samples commonly encountered in forensic genetic analysis. The dual-phase device seamlessly integrates two orthogonal solid-phase extraction (SPE) processes, a silica solid phase using chaotrope-driven binding and an ion exchange phase using totally aqueous chemistry (chitosan phase), providing the unique capability of removing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibitors used in silica-based extractions (guanidine and isopropanol). Nucleic acids from a large volume sample are shown to undergo a substantial volume reduction on the silica phase, followed by a more stringent extraction on the chitosan phase. The key to interfacing the two steps is mixing of the eluted nucleic acids from the first phase with loading buffer which is facilitated by flow-mediated mixing over a herringbone mixing region in the device. The complete aqueous chemistry associated with the second purification step yields a highly concentrated PCR-ready eluate of nucleic acids devoid of PCR inhibitors that are reagent-based (isopropanol) and sample-based (indigo dye), both of which are shown to be successfully removed using the dual-phase device but not by the traditional microfluidic SPE (muSPE). The utility of the device for purifying DNA was demonstrated with dilute whole blood, dilute semen, a semen stain, and a blood sample inhibited with indigo dye, with the resultant DNA from all shown to be PCR amplifiable. The same samples purified using muSPE were not all PCR amplifiable due to a smaller concentration of the DNA and the lack of PCR-compatible aqueous chemistry in the extraction method. The utility of the device for the purification of RNA was also demonstrated, by the extraction of RNA from a dilute semen sample, with the resulting RNA amplified using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. The vrSPE-SPE device reliably yields a volume reduction for DNA and RNA purification on the order of 50- and 14-fold, respectively, both compatible with downstream PCR analysis. In addition, purification of all samples consumed less reagents (2.6-fold) than traditional purification methods, with the added advantage of being a "closed system" that eliminates sample transfer steps, thereby reducing the possible entrance points for contaminants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has long been known as an institution that supports biomedical advances through hypothesis-driven research. Another aspect of NIH, however, has received comparatively little attention and may be critical to advancing translational science beyond its current limitations. Specifically, this aspect of NIH focuses on supporting innovation through the development of high-risk technologies that have the potential to empower research.
Science translational medicine 02/2011; 3(70):70cm5. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001742 · 15.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work describes the performance of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microfluidic DNA purification devices with embedded microfabricated posts, functionalized with chitosan. PMMA is attractive as a substrate for creating high surface area (SA) posts for DNA capture because X-ray lithography can be exploited for extremely reproducible fabrication of high SA structures. However, this advantage is offset by the delicate nature of the posts when attempting bonding to create a closed system, and by the challenge of functionalizing the PMMA surface with a group that invokes DNA binding. Methods are described for covalent functionalization of the post surfaces with chitosan that binds DNA in a pH-dependent manner, as well as for bonding methods that avoid damaging the underlying post structure. A number of geometric posts designs are explored, with the goal of identifying post structures that provide the requisite surface area without a concurrent rise in fluidic resistance that promotes device failure. Initial proof-of-principle is shown by recovery of prepurified human genomic DNA (hgDNA), with real-world utility illustrated by purifying hgDNA from whole blood and demonstrating it to be PCR-amplifiable.
Lab on a Chip 03/2011; 11(9):1603-11. DOI:10.1039/c0lc00597e · 6.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A valveless microdevice has been developed for the integration of solid phase extraction (SPE) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on a single chip for the short tandem repeat (STR) analysis of DNA from a biological sample. The device consists of two domains--a SPE domain filled with silica beads as a solid phase and a PCR domain with an ~500 nL reaction chamber. DNA from buccal swabs was purified and amplified using the integrated device and a full STR profile (16 loci) resulted. The 16 loci Identifiler® multiplex amplification was performed using a non-contact infrared (IR)-mediated PCR system built in-house, after syringe-driven SPE, providing an ~80-fold and 2.2-fold reduction in sample and reagent volumes consumed, respectively, as well as an ~5-fold reduction in the overall analysis time in comparison to conventional analysis. Results indicate that the SPE-PCR system can be used for many applications requiring genetic analysis, and the future addition of microchip electrophoresis (ME) to the system would allow for the complete processing of biological samples for forensic STR analysis on a single microdevice.
The Analyst 03/2011; 136(9):1928-37. DOI:10.1039/c0an00922a · 4.11 Impact Factor
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