The study of nucleotide sequences is widely used in basic science as well as in medical practice. However, the accuracy of the data depends on whether it was possible to allocate enough sample of DNA or RNA and purify them from impurities. Nucleic acids — is a multi-stage and time-consuming process. It lends itself to automation, but the robotic systems are characterized by high cost, and their simplified analogues do not provide the required quality of cleaning material
Employees of the Institute of Molecular Biology. Engelhardt of the Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a robotic device for DNA extraction from biological samples.
Proposed them microfluidic module — a light transparent block in which the material is moving on a thin channel, being exposed to the necessary reagents. Inside the module are all stages of purification: technician places the drop of blood (or other biological fluid) and the outlet tube is purified DNA. The device was created with the financial support of the Federal Agency for Science and Innovation.
The cleaning process consists of several stages. The liquid sample placed in the receiving chamber, is filtered. In the membrane filter are cells or viral particles. They were treated with enzymes that destroy the shell, and then passed through the intracellular content microcolumn filled with sorption material, which binds nucleic acid. The column was then washed with a solution containing ethanol, and the sample removed from the remaining salts and proteins. In the last step the nucleic acids purified from the rest of the cells are transferred into a standard tube.
Unlike most other treatment methods, using microfluidic module samples at all stages isolated from the external environment. This not only helps to prevent contamination of the material, but also ensures the safety of employees at work with pathogenic microorganisms. Module helps isolate DNA from different samples: blood, saliva, liquid bacterial cultures, etc. Low cost and ease of management make these devices promising for use in various medical and pharmaceutical laboratories