DNA Isolation from different Trace Materials

Isolation of DNA out of different trace materials becomes more and more important in the field of forensics.

Starting with lysed trace material, the fully automated process on the MICROLAB STAR includes DNA extraction, quantification, normalization and PCR set-up. For DNA extraction out of trace materials like cigarettes, sputum and hairs, the ChargeSwitch® Forensic DNA Purification Kit from Invitrogen is used. After isolation, the DNA is quantified using fluorescence dyes with an integrated BMG FLUOstar plate reader. Finally, the DNA is normalized and used for PCR set-up.

The DNA concentration is measured in a range of 7pg/µl to 1000pg/µl. Samples with a concentration lower than 30pg/µl are excluded from PCR set-up in order to save expensive chemistry. The complete processing of 96 samples is finished within 4h.

The data handling procedure is customized and ensures that the samples are traced throughout the whole process. A text file with the sample information is used as an input file, and an output file for documentation is generated at the end of the process.

Features and

  • Fully automated process including DNA isolation, quantification, normalisation and PCR set-up
  • Integrated DNA normalization allows exclusion of samples with a very low DNA yield from PCR set-up, and saves expensive PCR chemistry
  • Different trace materials can be used as starting materials
  • Samples are traced throughout the whole process


  • MICROLAB STAR, 4 channels, with iSWAP integrated plate handler
  • AGOWA sep9600 magnetic separation box
  • BMG FLUOstar Optima plate reader fully integrated into system with iSWAP

Alternate Configuration

  • STARplus ; Autoload for barcode handling


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