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Issue 17, 2009
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Nucleic acid extraction techniques and application to the microchip

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As recently as the early 1990s, DNA purification was time-consuming, requiring the use of toxic, hazardous reagents. The advent of solid phase extraction techniques and the availability of commercial kits for quick and reliable DNA extraction has relegated those early techniques largely to the history books. High quality DNA can now be extracted from whole blood, serum, saliva, urine, stool, cerebral spinal fluid, tissues, and cells in less time without sacrificing recovery. Having achieved such a radical change in the methodology of DNA extraction, focus has shifted to adapting these methods to a miniaturized system, or “lab-on-a-chip” (A. Manz, N. Graber and H. M. Widmer, Sens. Actuators, B, 1990, 1, 244–248).1 Manz et al.'s concept of a “miniaturized total chemical analysis system” (µTAS) involved a silicon chip that incorporated sample pretreatment, separation and detection.1 This review will focus on the first of these steps, sample pretreatment in the form of DNA purification. The intention of this review is to provide an overview of the fundamentals of nucleic acid purification and solid phase extraction (SPE) and to discuss specific microchip DNA extraction successes and challenges. In order to fully appreciate the advances in DNA purification, a brief review of the history of DNA extraction is provided so that the reader has an understanding of the impact that the development of SPE techniques have had. This review will highlight the different methods of nucleic acid extraction (Table 1), including relevant citations, but without an exhaustive summary of the literature. A recent review by Wen et al. (J. Wen, L. A. Legendre, J. M. Bienvenue and J. P. Landers, Anal. Chem., 2008, 80, 6472–6479)2 covers solid phase extraction methods with a greater focus on their incorporation into integrated microfluidic systems.

Graphical abstract: Nucleic acid extraction techniques and application to the microchip

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Apr 2009, accepted on 29 May 2009 and first published on 22 Jun 2009

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/B907652M
Citation: Lab Chip, 2009,9, 2484-2494
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    Nucleic acid extraction techniques and application to the microchip

    C. W. Price, D. C. Leslie and J. P. Landers, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 2484
    DOI: 10.1039/B907652M

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