Forensic Labs Validate GenTegraDNA for Use

DNA Storage Challenges Faced by Forensic Labs

Long-term storage of DNA extracts is a logistical challenge for forensic labs. Freezing is the traditional gold standard for long-term storage of extracted DNA. Freezer storage at first glance seems simple and easy but as freezer age, and power failures become more common, using freezer can turn from convenience to a nuisance for the forensic lab. Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing require these samples be stored and available for reanalysis for as long as the statutes of limitations apply or, as in the case of homicides or missing persons, indefinitely. Best practice for forensic casework requires that any remaining DNA extract from analysis of casework samples be maintained for future use. GenTegraDNA offers a safe, risk-free, alternative for storage and preservation of DNA samples.

Benefits of the GenTegra DNA solution

GenTegraDNA is a robust and reliable dry storage protection product that utilizes GenTegra’s proven and patented technology; Active Chemical Protection™.
The Active Chemical Protection of GenTegraDNA allows purified DNA samples to be stored safely for decades at room temperature. Additional benefit, samples stored or shipped in GenTegraDNA do not require any special temperature or humidity control. Studies show GenTegraDNA protects DNA for more than 20 years at ambient temperatures. GenTegraDNA provides complete recovery of the DNA sample and causes no issues at all for downstream analysis methods such as STR, PCR, qPCR and microarrays.

GenTegraDNA is Easy to use

GenTegraDNA is simple and easy to use in the forensic lab. As seen in the image, it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3; just add the GenTegraDNA solution to the DNA sample, mix gently, and dry the sample. Once dried the DNA is coated with a protective layer of GenTegraDNA which provides protection against damage during storage. Drying is often done by gentle warming the sample tubes to speed the drying time.

Recommended drying methods are provided in the Forensic white paper with additional instructions provided in the GenTegraDNA User Guide. Following long-term storage, DNA is easily recovered by adding water and is immediately ready for use in downstream applications without any cleanup step.

Long Term Protection and Recovery of DNA Extracts

GenTegraDNA’s ability to protect DNA for long-term storage has been shown in a peer reviewed publication ( ), extracted DNA samples were protected with GenTegraDNA and dried down for testing. Accelerated stability testing, at 37 °C, 56 °C, and 76 °C for 6-month storage, was followed by 4 years of ambient storage. Gel electrophoresis showed no visible degradation. Storing the DNA at 76 °C for 6 months is the equivalent to 16 years of storage at ambient room temperature.

Before any technology, including GenTegraDNA, can be used in a certified forensic laboratory the technology must be validated by the laboratory. Some forensic labs have validated GenTegraDNA for their use. Validations took a period of about three months to complete. Validation included a range of dilutions, DNA concentrations, heat stressing and protected and unprotected samples.

DNA samples stored on GenTegraDNA show no visible degradation after the equivalent of 20 years storage at ambient temperature.

GenTegraDNA Does not Inhibit Post Storage Analysis

Equally important to protecting the DNA while in storage if the ability to use this DNA for analysis after it has been in storage. The presence of the GenTegraDNA protective Active Chemical Protection has no negative effects on analysis after storage. A sample of DNA in GenTegraDNA can be used directly in all follow-on analysis without any adverse impact. qPCR can be especially sensitive to inhibition by added chemical and the figure to the right shows no impact due to the presence of GenTegraDNA.

GenTegraDNA does not inhibit qPCR amplification. Ct values showed normal amplification with GenTegraDNA-protected samples compared to unprotected samples.

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