The ANDE 6C Rapid DNA system could offer a potential alternative for the processing of calcified and soft tissue samples, often encountered in mass disaster scenarios. While originally designed for single source buccal swabs, interest in the performance of these instruments when using other types of single source samples continues to grow. To enhance the recovery of otherwise lesser quality samples, the manufacturer developed the investigative biochip, an alternative to the NDIS approved Arrestee biochip for reference sample buccal swabs. This study explores the viability of using the ANDE 6C system and the investigative biochip to process soft and calcified tissue, and uses conventional sample processing to contrast the results. Though the success rate obtained using the instrument’s expert system was lower than expected – 0% muscle, 11% ribs, and 50% teeth -, the ANDE 6C offers an advantage over conventional calcified tissue processing in terms of turn-around time and processing complexity. If robust analysis parameters can be established to allow the evaluation of the generated data by a qualified analyst on a third party software platform, the use of the ANDE 6C and investigative biochip could be a suitable alternative for currently employed procedures. However, as is the case with conventional DNA typing, the quantity, age, type of biological material and quality of the exemplars could all play a role in the success of the ANDE 6C typing process. In addition, it appears as if the calcified tissue pre-processing protocol that provides the better opportunity for the ANDE 6C success is not appropriate to be carried out in the field or by non-trained personnel as special equipment as well as a certain level of exe expertise and technique is necessary. Nevertheless, disaster victim and unidentified human remain samples could be processed in a laboratory setting using the Rapid DNA ANDE 6C platform provided sufficient material is available to conduct a second, ‘rescue’ sample processing if necessary.
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