Visual automated fluorescence electrophoresis provides simultaneous quality, quantity, and molecular weight spectra for genomic DNA from archived neonatal blood spots

J Mol Diagn. 2013 May;15(3):283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


The Guthrie 903 card archived dried blood spots (DBSs) are a unique but terminal resource amenable for individual and population-wide genomic profiling. The limited amounts of DBS-derived genomic DNA (gDNA) can be whole genome amplified, producing sufficient gDNA for genomic applications, albeit with variable success; optimizing the isolation of high-quality DNA from these finite, low-yield specimens is essential. Agarose gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry are established postextraction quality control (QC) methods but lack the power to disclose detailed structural, qualitative, or quantitative aspects that underlie gDNA failure in downstream applications. Visual automated fluorescence electrophoresis (VAFE) is a novel QC technology that affords precise quality, quantity, and molecular weight of double-stranded DNA from a single microliter of sample. We extracted DNA from 3-mm DBSs archived in the Swedish Neonatal Repository for >30 years and performed the first quantitative and qualitative analyses of DBS-derived DNA on VAFE, before and after whole genome amplified, in parallel with traditional QC methods. The VAFE QC data were correlated with subsequent sample performance in PCR, sequencing, and high-density comparative genome hybridization array. We observed improved standardization of nucleic acid quantity, quality and integrity, and high performance in the downstream genomic technologies. Addition of VAFE measures in QC increases confidence in the validity of genetic data and allows cost-effective downstream analysis of gDNA for investigational and diagnostic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization / methods
  • DNA / isolation & purification*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / methods*
  • Electrophoresis / methods*
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Quality Control
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / genetics
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
  • DNA