Volume 50, Issue 3 (May 2005)
A Simple Automated Instrument for DNA Extraction in Forensic Casework
The Qiagen BioRobot EZ1 is a small, rapid, and reliable automated DNA extraction instrument capable of extracting DNA from up to six samples in as few as 20 min using magnetic bead technology. The San Diego Police Department Crime Laboratory has validated the BioRobot EZ1 for the DNA extraction of evidence and reference samples in forensic casework. The BioRobot EZ1 was evaluated for use on a variety of different evidence sample types including blood, saliva, and semen evidence. The performance of the BioRobot EZ1 with regard to DNA recovery and potential cross-contamination was also assessed. DNA yields obtained with the BioRobot EZ1 were comparable to those from organic extraction. The BioRobot EZ1 was effective at removing PCR inhibitors, which often co-purify with DNA in organic extractions. The incorporation of the BioRobot EZ1 into forensic casework has streamlined the DNA analysis process by reducing the need for labor-intensive phenol-chloroform extractions.