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DNA extraction
Home > Previous projects > DNA extraction
The project detailed in this section was carried out in 2004. Therefore the range of technology covered may not reflect the current state of technology in this area. Whilst this project is no longer ongoing we are happy to receive feedback and answer any queries arising from it.
Automated DNA extraction

Project Leader: Chris Mattocks

Automating DNA extraction has the potential to improve many aspects of the laboratory process. Automated extractions should be more consistent / reproducible, the possibility of cross-contamination should be reduced and the systems are amenable to bar-coded sample tracking. A number of automated DNA extraction protocols were evaluated for their suitability in a diagnostic setting. These fall into two main categories:

  • Complete systems comprising a chemistry and instrumentation specifically designed to automate the process.
  • Chemistries suitable for automation, together with a suitable liquid handling platform from a different manufacturer

Key considerations for the evaluations were :

  • Ease of use
  • DNA Yield
  • DNA Purity
  • Suitability of DNA for down stream tests
  • Integrated sample tracking (Bar coding)
  • Blood volume capacity
  • Cross contamination
  • Sample handling requirements
  • Hands on time
  • Extraction time
  • Cost – capital and revenue


DNA extraction survey

In order to focus the evaluations at the specific needs of the diagnostic community we carried out a survey to gauge opinions on this complex area in CMGS labs. A questionnaire was circulated to all CMGS labs in March 2004 and there were 17 responses. These responses have been summarised and the report is now available for download below.

DNA extraction survey (report download)

Evaluation report – “Automated DNA Extraction Methodologies” (download)

View evaluation list

Last Updated: 30 July, 2008 by G. Watkins
2006 National Genetics Reference Laboratory (Wessex), Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ; Tel: +44 (0)1722 429080; E-mail:ncpc@soton.ac.uk