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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2018 May;410(12):2879-2887. doi: 10.1007/s00216-018-0982-1. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

Evaluating droplet digital PCR for the quantification of human genomic DNA: converting copies per nanoliter to nanograms nuclear DNA per microliter.

Author information

1
Chemical Sciences Division, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8390, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-8390, USA. david.duewer@NIST.gov.
2
Biomolecular Measurement Division, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8314, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-8314, USA.
3
Statistical Engineering Division, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8380, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-8980, USA.

Abstract

The highly multiplexed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays used for forensic human identification perform best when used with an accurately determined quantity of input DNA. To help ensure the reliable performance of these assays, we are developing a certified reference material (CRM) for calibrating human genomic DNA working standards. To enable sharing information over time and place, CRMs must provide accurate and stable values that are metrologically traceable to a common reference. We have shown that droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) limiting dilution end-point measurements of the concentration of DNA copies per volume of sample can be traceably linked to the International System of Units (SI). Unlike values assigned using conventional relationships between ultraviolet absorbance and DNA mass concentration, entity-based ddPCR measurements are expected to be stable over time. However, the forensic community expects DNA quantity to be stated in terms of mass concentration rather than entity concentration. The transformation can be accomplished given SI-traceable values and uncertainties for the number of nucleotide bases per human haploid genome equivalent (HHGE) and the average molar mass of a nucleotide monomer in the DNA polymer. This report presents the considerations required to establish the metrological traceability of ddPCR-based mass concentration estimates of human nuclear DNA. Graphical abstract The roots of metrological traceability for human nuclear DNA mass concentration results. Values for the factors in blue must be established experimentally. Values for the factors in red have been established from authoritative source materials. HHGE stands for "haploid human genome equivalent"; there are two HHGE per diploid human genome.

KEYWORDS:

Certified Reference Material (CRM); Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR); Human nuclear DNA; Metrological traceability

PMID:
29556737
PMCID:
PMC5996397
DOI:
10.1007/s00216-018-0982-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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