Environment monitoring, security and food quality control DNA extraction from oil samples for PCR applications through microscale solid phase extraction

In order to apply PCR methods, a critical step in the case of complex and highly processed food matrices, is the DNA extraction and purification. This step should ensure an efficient recovery of nucleic acids and at the same time the removal of PCR inhibitors, that might affect the efficiency of the PCR reaction or even completely inhibit the amplification of the DNA sequence of interest.

Oil samples are especially cumbersome matrices for the extraction of nucleic acids since they present very low amounts of DNA, highly fragmented DNA due to the processing and refining treatments, and compounds that might inhibit the polymerase activity. 

Microfluidic systems are being designed in order to give a solution specifically tailored for complex matrices such as oil samples. Different approaches based on microscale solid phase extraction (µSPE) are being developed and tested in order to optimize a specific methodology to obtain higher DNA yield and inhibitor-free DNA extracts to be used for PCR.

*in collaboration with Lorena Diéguez and João Gaspar