We designed an automated workstation for magnetic particle-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination of ALDH genotypes. Bacterial magnetic particles (BMPs) extracted from Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 were used as DNA carriers. The principle for SNP discrimination in this study was based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between FITC (donor) and POPO-3 (acceptor) bound to double-stranded DNA. The workstation is equipped with a 96-way automated pipetter which collects and dispenses fluids as it moves in x- and z-directions. The platform contains a disposable tip rack station, a reagent vessel serving as a stock for POPO-3 and FITC-labeled probes and a reaction station for a 96-well microtiter plate. BMPs were collected by attaching a neodymium iron boron sintered (Nd-Fe-B) magnet on the bottom of the microtiter plate. This system permits the simultaneous heating and magnetic separation of 96 samples per assay. The genotypes ALDH2*1 and ALDH2*2 were discriminated by calculating the relative fluorescence intensities on BMPs.
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