Application Note: Contamination-Free Fully Automated PCR Set-Up for Forensic DNA Analysis
9 March 2016

This application note describes the use of the Microlab STARlet for automated forensic DNA analysis using RT-PCR. PCR is a key method in forensics enabling generation of DNA profiles from traces and identification of individuals. A large number of different samples have to be analyzed quickly and reliably. This means hundreds of individual PCR reactions per day. At the Saxon State Office of Criminal Investigation samples are initially analyzed by real time PCR. Subsequently samples are subjected to STR (“Short Tandem Repeats” in non-coding DNA) PCR for DNA profiling. Automating the PCR set-up required a pipetting technique which prevents cross contamination between samples and which has a high precision down to 0.5µl volumes. Automation of this assay eliminates human errors and increases throughput, whilst minimizing the risk of contamination.