While it might be simple to collect saliva or swab the cheeks for human RNA or DNA, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a level of complexity in choosing the right equipment for genetics and forensics sample collection. For accurate results, researchers must choose a DNA swap that lessens contamination risks from other sources of RNA or DNA, including medical swap materials.
Diagnostic firms and researchers rely on medical products for sterile, non-invasive, and easy-to-use swabs. The sterile medical swabs come in various sizes and shapes. We’ve highlighted the top three user types in the medical field to assist you in choosing the best DNA swap that will meet the requirements of your applications.
The kind of DNA swaps
DNA genetic or forensic evaluation testing is as effective as the sample collection technique and the medical swap type utilized. Including the proper transport gadget, people conducting sampling can be confident in their results’ accuracy.
Cotton DNA Swabs
Cotton DNA swaps are commonly used in the DNA sampling field for both human genetics and forensics evaluation. Because of their affordability and versatility, cotton swabs are the best choice for most police departments’ forensic laboratories. Additionally, the medical-grade cotton utilized in medical swabs is perfect for buccal sampling. That’s because it’s the right friction to generate the buccal cells from the inner cheeks while remaining soft and non-invasive.
The quality level of DNA obtained from this diagnostic is perfect for most downstream applications. Diagnostic professionals might opt to cut the tip of the medical swab to elute or vial the sample into the buffer. The swabs are sterile and designed to fit your workflow in a single or several swap bags.
Foam DNA Swabs
A buccal cheek swab, or buccal swab, is a non-invasive, fast, and comfortable method to collect genetic material for genetic or forensic analysis. Because of their higher particle collection capacity and softer tips, medical-grade foam-tipped swabs are typically the most common for buccal cell gathering. A soft foam swab is rubbed in the cheek pockets to get high-quality samples. You can elute the swab into a good buffer when you want to release the DNA sample.
Flocked DNA swabs
Forensic investigators and genetic researchers handling small sample sizes and looking for the best alternative to standard foam or cotton swabs might benefit from flocking swabs. Flocked foam swabs are used in the field of genetics and forensics because of the micro-structure design that is unique. This design results in flock fibers with the quality collection and elution properties, even if the cell count is limited, compared to foam or cotton swabs.
Flocked medical swabs are gentle enough for DNA and paternity testing on babies who might or might not have well-developed salivary glands. The polyester fiber’s uniquely created structure can gently gather the buccal or/and saliva cells in the mouth for good cell yield.
How to select the best DNA swap
Path-Tec is here to make sure you get the right medical swab for your genetic or forensic analysis. Here are some of the tips you need to know:
- The donor’s age: this guides you in selecting the right swab material and sizes for patient comfort. Small swab sizes might be ideal for pediatric patients.
- The amount of DNA your application needs: since test sensitivity can differ, a large sample is ideal for making sure enough DNA material is obtained for an accurate outcome. This isn’t possible in most cases since swabs need to address the donor’s comfort. Nevertheless, some applications might need a large DNA sample size. For instance, a large foam swab can be helpful in gathering buccal cell samples for a criminal case. This is because large medical swab tips are cut to offer two separate DNA samples, one for the defense and the other for the prosecution.
- Is it for assisted collection or self-collection: for self-collection, it’s easy to use long-handled and larger tip swap? This might vary based on the donor’s age. For the assisted collection, the available technique of transportation or/and extraction will determine the kind of swab to use.
- Will the DNA samples be in transport: not every DNA swab needs transport. The swabs are dried for storage like used with a kid-safe ID kit. However, the sample might be gathered by a technician, practitioner, or researcher with extraction abilities who can send the samples to assay.
If you are looking for the best medical swabs, talk to experts at Path-Tec for help. They will help you find what you need.