Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device. Now University of Washington engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods. The device will give hospitals and research labs a much easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples, which will help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis and forensic investigations.
Hand-held device for extracting DNA
“It’s very complex to extract DNA,” said Jae-Hyun Chung, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering who led the research. “When you think of the current procedure, the equivalent is like collecting human hairs using a construction crane.”
The small, box-shaped kit now is ready for manufacturing, then eventual distribution to hospitals and clinics.