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DNA Dilution

A method that reduces DNA concentration to better suit various biological procedures like PCR, DNA sequencing, molecular cloning, and qPCR.

DNA Dilution 2

Diluting DNA, typically carried out through standard dilution, serial dilution, or using a spectrophotometer, demands high precision and accuracy, with challenges in manual pipetting including inaccuracy, DNA degradation, and cross-contamination. Automation via liquid handling systems improves the process by enhancing accuracy, reproducibility, efficiency, and throughput, while also reducing contamination risks.

Workflows For Diluting DNA

Diluting DNA is needed in various workflows such as:

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): PCR requires specific concentrations of DNA as a starting material.
  2. DNA Sequencing: Both Sanger and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) require specific DNA concentrations.
  3. Molecular Cloning: DNA dilutions are necessary to optimize ligation reactions.
  4. Quantitative PCR (qPCR): Similar to PCR, qPCR requires an optimal concentration of DNA for accurate quantification.

DNA dilution has never been easier

The OT-2 is a bench-top liquid handler designed to be accessible and flexible enough to automate many common applications.

Top Methods of Diluting DNA

  1. Standard Dilution: A specific volume of DNA is added to a buffer solution to decrease the concentration.
  2. Serial Dilution: Here, an initial dilution is made, which is then used to create further dilutions in a stepwise manner. This allows a range of concentrations for optimizing experimental conditions.
  3. Dilution Using a Spectrophotometer: A spectrophotometer is used to measure the DNA concentration. The DNA is then diluted to the desired concentration using a buffer solution.

Protocol Spotlights

Opentrons helps you automate DNA dilution with open-source protocols for the OT-2 and Opentrons Flex

Why is Diluting DNA so Difficult?

Diluting DNA can be challenging due to the need for precision and accuracy. Small errors in measurement can lead to significant differences in final DNA concentration, affecting downstream applications. Also, DNA is susceptible to degradation and contamination, which can occur during the dilution process.

Key Challenges of Diluting DNA with Manual Pipetting

  1. Inaccuracy and Imprecision: Small differences in pipetting can lead to major discrepancies in DNA concentration.
  2. DNA Degradation: DNA can degrade during the process if not handled correctly.
  3. Cross-Contamination: There’s a risk of cross-contamination if the pipettes are not cleaned properly.

Automating the DNA Dilution Process

Automated liquid handling systems can be used to automate the DNA dilution process. These machines can accurately dispense precise volumes of DNA and diluent, reducing the risk of human error and increasing reproducibility. Automation protocols can be easily adjusted to create a range of DNA concentrations.

Benefits of Automation over Manual Pipetting for Diluting DNA

  1. Increased Precision and Accuracy: Automated systems can handle very small volumes and high concentrations with more accuracy than manual pipetting.
  2. Time Efficiency: Automated systems can dilute multiple samples simultaneously, drastically reducing the time spent on the dilution process.
  3. Reduced Contamination Risk: Automated systems can minimize the risk of cross-contamination and DNA degradation.

Want to know more?

Our team of experts can help figure out if automation is right for you. Book a virtual demo to discuss your workflow needs with an expert.