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DesigN of a robotic device for automated nucleic acid extraction from biological samples
Nucleic Acids (DNA or RNA) present the genetic structure of the cell or the organism and so are the essential components to make genetic testing. Molecular genetic testing allows one to analyze the genetic structure of an organism to have an idea about the present temporary or hereditary characteristics of the tissue or the whole organism, or specifically define its species. In order to analyze the genetic structure, one must extract and isolate the nucleic acids (NA), which are most of the time inside the cell. The aim of this thesis study is to design and manufacture an automated device with low throughput DNA extraction. Currently, the automated devices used for extraction of genetic material are being manufactured only by the foreign companies. Automated commercial devices used for this purpose were investigated in detail as well as the manual NA extraction hand tools for use in NA extraction. Commercially available components (pipette tip, reagent cartridges, tubes, etc.) to isolate NA were reviewed. Mechanism design process for a low cost and high precision system that requires minimal human operator intervention is carried out. The conceptual designs were developed and the final design of the device was made to comply with the selected components. Electronic equipments (motors, drivers, interface card, etc.) and a suitable graphical user interface compatible with the electronic components was selected and adapted to the system. Finally, a device which is competitive with the commercial ones has been designed and its prototype has been manufactured as a result of this thesis study.