University of the Western Cape South Africa

The collection and preservation of biological material for further DNA and RNA analysis are critical to many biomedical fields, from medical diagnostics to forensics and biodiversity conservation.

The Forensic DNA lab at the University of the Western Cape has developed a novel, proprietary DNA storage buffer to store samples at ambient temperatures. The research team has successfully stored human saliva samples at ambient temperatures for several years, and they have shown little to no degradation of the DNA extracted from these samples. They have also shown that one can successfully store human blood in this buffer, at ambient temperatures, for a considerable amount of time. DNA extracted from the stored blood, and the human saliva samples were of good quality and quantity and suitable for various downstream molecular assays. Being able to safely store valuable DNA samples, without concerns of sample degradation, at ambient temperatures is very important, especially in developing country contexts where resources are constrained, and access to cold-chain storage is limited.

In addition to the above mentioned, the team has developed a novel saliva collection device which aims to simplify saliva collection. The collected saliva is then to be stored in the proprietary buffer mentioned above.

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