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The origin of DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System

After a highly competitive evaluation of technology platforms, NetBio Inc. was exclusively awarded funding to further develop rapid DNA technology by a government consortium that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The award was based on superior technical merit and demonstrated ability to achieve the program’s objectives for instrument data quality, ease of use, robustness of design, and a fully integrated and expandable platform.


DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System: how it works

1-hour educational webinars on rapid DNA technology

Rapid DNA Technology: Understanding How it Can Expedite Forensic Investigations and Other Human Identification Applications

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Under the hood: How microfluidic technology drives rapid DNA analysis,
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DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System is a self-contained unit with all the accessories you need to conduct a full DNA analysis. The components include the following subsystems; (i) high and low voltage power; (ii) rapid thermal cycling; (ii) thermal plate; (iv) pneumatic controls (to drive fluidics using air pressure); (v) optical; (vi) process control, and computer controls (including the touch screen user interface).


DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System uses a DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette that contains all the reagents, materials and waste containment needed to perform the DNA test safely and securely. The cassette integrates the core components of STR analysis such as DNA purification, STR amplification with fluorescent labeling, electrophoretic separation, and laser-induced detection.


DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette consists of a set of biochips bonded together including a smart cartridge, gel smart cartridge, an integrated biochip, and a separation and detection chip.  Each biochip performs a specialized function that mimics the process used in a traditional DNA lab but in a miniaturized format. After you insert the NetBio BioChipSet Swab, the enzymes within the smart cartridge perform cell lyses to release the DNA from the sample.


The gel smart cartridge contains a sieving matrix for microfluidic separation and detection. The integrated biochip interfaces with the smart cartridge to integrate all the microfluidic processes, including DNA purification, STR amplification, and injection of the sample onto the separation and detection chip.


The integrated biochip interfaces with the smart cartridge and accepts the extracted DNA from the smart cartridge for purification.  The purified DNA is then mixed with specialized reagents tagged with fluorescent dyes and amplified in the PCR chambers (Fig 1) to produce copies of only target regions of DNA of (called loci).


The DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette can process five single source DNA samples simultaneously.  All the reagents required to generate an STR profile are preloaded into the all-in-one BioChipSet Cassette. The pneumatic interface (Fig 2) uses pressurized air to move liquids through the lanes on each integrated biochip and between each layer of the cassette.


After the PCR, the amplified DNA fragments move onto the separation and detection chip where the DNA fragments are separated by capillary electrophoresis.


The separated DNA fragments pass through a detection window for a laser beam to excite the florescent dyes and give off light. A charged-coupled device (CCD) in DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System electronically detects the intensity of the light given off by the fluorescent dyes and sends the raw data to the computer for analysis. The result is a DNA fingerprint or STR profile.

Upper sections of DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette Figure 1. Upper sections of DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette.
Lower section of DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette Figure 2. Lower section of DNAscan BioChipSet Cassette.