The Qiagen Bio Robot EZ1

The Qiagen EZ1 (Figure 3.5) is a compact benchtop instrument with its own integrated EZ1 DNA extraction chemistry designed to handle up to six samples in 15 minutes. The paramagnetic bead-based chemistry is conveniently packaged in a foil-sealed reagent cartridge (a robot-specific package), so the risk of contamination is extremely low. The instrument is controlled by a simple keypad and LCD screen, and different protocols are programmed by being loaded onto the instrument via cards that are plugged into a slot in the front of the instrument. The EZ1 was evaluated for DNA extraction from a variety of different evidence sample types, including blood, saliva and semen (Montpetit et al., 2005) as well as cigarette butts, katagen and telogen hair roots, paraffin-embedded tissues and pulverized tooth (Anslinger et al., 2005). Forensic samples were pre-treated in a variety of ways - some were treated with lysis buffer from the extraction kit and proteinase K and were incubated at 56°C for various times, while vaginal swabs with sperm cells were extracted by a differential lysis protocol (Figure 3.2b). Tooth and hair roots were lysed with a specific 'bone lysis buffer'. For all extractions, the EZ1 DNA Tissue kit was used in combination with the 'Forensic' programming card with the exception of embedded tissues, which used the 'Tissue' card instead. DNA yields were comparable to those from phenol-chloroform extraction, and the EZ1 purification process effectively removed PCR inhibitors. Variation in purification efficiency of the EZ1 DNA tissue kit reported by Anslinger et al. (2005) is no longer an issue. QIAGEN implemented functional Quality Control Testing procedures in order to assure good lot-lot consistency of purification efficiency for the EZ1 DNA Tissue Mini kits.

Figure 3.5 The Qiagen BioRobot EZ1. The EZ1 working deck has six slots to take the kit cartridges, an aligned tube rack to locate tubes for samples and re-suspended DNA and, above the deck, a robotic head with six positions, each having a spike for piercing the foil seals on the cartridges, a pipette and a magnetic probe. Reproduced with permission from QIAGEN Products

Figure 3.5 The Qiagen BioRobot EZ1. The EZ1 working deck has six slots to take the kit cartridges, an aligned tube rack to locate tubes for samples and re-suspended DNA and, above the deck, a robotic head with six positions, each having a spike for piercing the foil seals on the cartridges, a pipette and a magnetic probe. Reproduced with permission from QIAGEN Products

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