How can we Optimise DNA Extraction from Human Blood for more Sensitive NGS Analysis?

perkin elmer chemagic dna extraction blood ngs

The increasing relevance of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in genetic research means there is a high demand for nucleic acid isolation from human fluids. So how can we perform efficient DNA extraction from human blood?


NGS has revolutionised genetic research, by serving as a powerful processing technology, cutting time taken to run genetic analysis and also the cost.

On the one hand NGS is getting cheaper, and on the other hand it is also more effective at pinpointing the genetic modifications (and identify those that cause disease). Therefore, extracting genetic material from human fluids is the cornerstone procedure for the majority of labs.

However, for NGS we need quality extraction in order to accurately generate results, and a demand for effective DNA or RNA extraction from human blood samples has therefore arisen across a range of industry sectors.

These include Biobanking, Genotyping and data collection during research studies to detect for viral or bacterial presence.


Improving the time taken, the yield (plus sample size) and quality of extracted DNA is therefore essential to running accurate genetic analysis and research.

For example, in order to study how a disease presents in a patient, the volume of the sample which can be processed for DNA/RNA extraction can strongly correlate with the accuracy of Bioinformatic analysis.

There is a positive correlation between the volume of blood used for extraction and the amount of high quality DNA. But for many lab instruments, the volume of processable blood is restricted to 1ml and therefore is actually the limiting factor.


A solution to these issues can be the use of PerkinElmer’s chemagic 360 research instrument.This technology is different and presents a key bottleneck for the quality of sample of DNA extracts, allowing a sample size of blood to range from 0.5ml to 4ml.

PerkinElmer’s technology (which uses magnetic beads) is even capable of extracting DNA from blood sample sizes of up to 10ml!

The time the instrument takes is also a huge plus. Up to 24 samples per batch can be processed for nucleic acid isolation in around 50 minutes, prepped and ready to go for Genetic analysis.

The chemagic 360 research instrument integrates an automated system with barcoding of samples (for digital storage of sample data). It also uses magnetic bead separation technology to optimize the quality of the nucleic acid separation, allowing higher base pair number strands of DNA and RNA for more powerful (and accurate) NGS analysis.

Given the sensitivity of NGS, strands of DNA with a greater number of base pairs can really streamline results. Typically, strands of around 60-150Kb are produced, which still qualify for NGS.

However, the chemagic instrument can separate out DNA as long as 200Kb by use of magnetic bead separation technology and this dramatically increases the ease of NGS analysis of samples.

So through optimisation of these three key areas of DNA extraction (time, quality and quantity), the chemagic instrument can significantly improve the data generated from blood samples and the sensitivity of NGS analysis.

All products included are for Research Use Only. Not for use in Diagnostic Procedures
US: For Laboratory Use Only. Not Intended For Use in Diagnostic Procedures.

Learn more about DNA Extraction with the chemagic 360 instrument

Learn more on how the chemagic 360 instrument works with this protocol…

Feature Image Credit: © Motorolka (BigStock ID46221007)

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