Automatable full demineralization DNA extraction procedure from degraded skeletal remains

Sylvain Amory, René Huel, Ana Bilić, Odile Loreille, Thomas J. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


During the 7 year period from 2002 to 2009 a high volume, silica-binding DNA extraction protocol for bone, based on modified QIAGEN's Blood Maxi Kit protocol was highly successful permitting the DNA matching of >14,500 missing persons from former Yugoslavia. This method, however, requires large amount of bone material and large volumes of reagents. The logical evolution was to develop a more efficient extraction protocol for bone samples that uses significantly less starting material while increasing the success in obtaining DNA results from smaller, more challenging samples. In this study we compared the performance of ICMP's original protocol against an automatable full demineralization approach. In order to provide reliable results and to simulate a wide variety of cases, we analyzed 40 bone samples in a comparative study based on DNA concentrations and quality of resulting STR profiles. The new protocol results in the dissolution of the entire bone powder sample, thus eliminating the possibility that DNA is left behind, locked in remaining solid bone matrix. For the majority of samples tested, the DNA concentrations obtained from half a gram of fully digested bone material were equivalent to or greater than the ones obtained from 2 g of partially demineralized bone powder. Furthermore, the full demineralization process significantly increases the proportion of full profiles reflecting the correlation with better DNA quality. This method has been adapted for the QIAcube robotic platform. The performance of this automated full demineralization protocol is similar to the manual version and increases overall lab throughput. It also simplifies the process by eliminating quality control procedures that are advisable in manual procedures, and overall reduces the chance of human error. Finally we described a simple and efficient post-extraction clean-up method that can be applied to DNA extracts obtained from different protocols. This protocol has also been adjusted for the QIAcube platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-406
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatable full demineralization DNA extraction procedure from degraded skeletal remains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this