DNA diagnosis by capillary electrophoresis and microfabricated electrophoretic devices

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DNA diagnosis is experiencing an impressive progression towards the development of novel technology to identity various clinically relevant categories of genetic changes and to meet the exponential growth of genomics. The introduction of capillary electrophoresis has dramatically accelerated the completion of the first draft of the human DNA sequence in the Human Genome Project, and thus, has become the method of choice for analysis of various genetic variants. The recent development of microfabricated electrophoretic devices has led to the possibility of integrating multiple sample handling with the actual measurement steps required for automation of molecular diagnostics. This review highlights the most recent progress in capillary electrophoresis and electrophoretic microdevices for DNA-based diagnostics, including the important areas of genotyping for point mutation, single nucleotide polymorphisms, short tandem repeats and organism identification. The application of these techniques for infectious and genetic disease diagnosis, as well as forensic identification purpose, are covered. The promising development and the challenges for techinical problems are also discussed.

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