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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 9306564, 13 pages
Review Article

Current Nucleic Acid Extraction Methods and Their Implications to Point-of-Care Diagnostics

1Departamento de Engenharia de Bioprocessos e Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, PR, Brazil
2Instituto de Biologia Molecular do Paraná (IBMP), Fiocruz, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
3Instituto Carlos Chagas (ICC), Fiocruz, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Alexandre Dias Tavares Costa; rb.zurcoif@atsoc.erdnaxela

Received 31 March 2017; Accepted 5 June 2017; Published 12 July 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Dondero

Copyright © 2017 Nasir Ali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nucleic acid extraction (NAE) plays a vital role in molecular biology as the primary step for many downstream applications. Many modifications have been introduced to the original 1869 method. Modern processes are categorized into chemical or mechanical, each with peculiarities that influence their use, especially in point-of-care diagnostics (POC-Dx). POC-Dx is a new approach aiming to replace sophisticated analytical machinery with microanalytical systems, able to be used near the patient, at the point of care or point of need. Although notable efforts have been made, a simple and effective extraction method is still a major challenge for widespread use of POC-Dx. In this review, we dissected the working principle of each of the most common NAE methods, overviewing their advantages and disadvantages, as well their potential for integration in POC-Dx systems. At present, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to establish a procedure which can be universally applied to POC-Dx. We also discuss the effects of the NAE chemicals upon the main plastic polymers used to mass produce POC-Dx systems. We end our review discussing the limitations and challenges that should guide the quest for an efficient extraction method that can be integrated in a POC-Dx system.