Genome Technology Center

Novel electrophoretic methods for concentration and analysis of DNA

Andre Marziali, University of British Columbia

The desire to take advantage of human genomic information for improved understanding and treatment of disease is driving a continued push toward inexpensive DNA analysis techniques. Improved techniques for DNA extraction and analysis may lead to improved early diagnosis of cancer, and to rapid clinical genotyping of patients for customization of treatment and drug administration.
We are developing new techniques for DNA extraction and analysis through novel application of electrophoretic manipulation of DNA. One of these techniques allows the concentration of DNA in a sample to be increased at least four orders of magnitude - allowing zeptomolar detection of nucleic acids - by means of non-linear electrophoresis, and may have utility for cancer diagnostics and metagenomics. Another technique uses electrophoretic manipulation of a single DNA strand in a nanopore to detect and analyze short DNA targets for inexpensive and rapid genotyping applications. Both techniques and their applications will be presented.


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