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A Forensic Laboratory Tests the Berkeley Microfabricated Capillary Array Electrophoresis Device

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Miniaturization of capillary electrophoresis onto a microchip for forensic short tandem repeat analysis is the initial step in the process of producing a fully integrated and automated analysis system. A prototype of the Berkeley microfabricated capillary array electrophoresis device was installed at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science for testing. Instrument performance was verified by PowerPlex® 16 System profiling of single source, sensitivity series, mixture, and casework samples. Mock sexual assault samples were successfully analyzed using the PowerPlex® Y System. Resolution was assessed using the TH01, CSF1PO, TPOX, and Amelogenin loci and demonstrated to be comparable with commercial systems along with the instrument precision. Successful replacement of the Hjerten capillary coating method with a dynamic coating polymer was performed. The accurate and rapid typing of forensic samples demonstrates the successful technology transfer of this device into a practitioner laboratory and its potential for advancing high-throughput forensic typing.
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Keywords: PowerPlex® 16; PowerPlex® Y; capillary electrophoresis; forensic science; microchip; microfabricated capillary array electrophoresis; polyduramide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Virginia Department of Forensic Science, DNA Unit, 700 North 5th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. 2: UCSF/UCB Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. 3: Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. 4: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory, 3228 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406. 5: Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208.

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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