Genetic Identity uses FTA cards to archive and store DNA for as long as 20–30 years.  The FTA card is a chemically treated filter paper designed for the collection and room-temperature storage of biological samples for subsequent DNA analysis. 

DNA archiving will provide you the peace of mind of knowing that your family's genetic history is safely and economically preserved, letting you address the following issues should the need arise:

  • Determine parentage issues: Paternity, Maternity, Sibling and Grandparentage
  • Establish Genealogy of a family
  • Determine inheritance issues
  • Identify inherited genetic disorders, including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, breast cancer, coronary heart disease, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, various types of cancers, and stroke predisposition.

The use of the FTA card represents a revolutionary improvement over traditional methods of DNA archiving and storage.  FTA technology allows room-temperature archiving of DNA from a wide array of biological samples including blood, buccal scraps and cultured cells, and eliminates the enormous cost of freezers and freezer maintenance normally associated with DNA archiving.   

DNA Archiving Kit

Indicating FTA Card

Two foam tipped applicator

Two one-gram desiccants

Protective Mailer

Foil-lined barrier pouch

DNA archive kit: $9.99
Individual archiving kit
(one person kit)
Order online

The FTA-treated matrix has the unique ability to kill blood-borne pathogens and protect genomic DNA from microbial and environmental degradation, allowing for long-term storage at room temperature and humidity.  Furthermore, the intrinsic properties of the FTA-treated matrix promote the use of highly simplified DNA purification procedures, and make it possible to perform completely automated, high-throughput DNA processing for subsequent PCR-based testing. .

]What is FTA?
The FTA card is a reagent mixture composed of strong buffers, physical denaturants, and a free radical trap.  This patented formula (1) is applied to a cellulose-based matrix (filter paper), which has been optimized for the stabilization of DNA and in situ processing for PCR amplification (2).  

Why use FTA?
The FTA card makes it simple and safe to collect, transport, process and store buccal cells, whole blood, saliva, cultured cells and other biological fluids, including blood samples from heavily decomposed bodies.

Is the FTA card safe? 
Insuring the safety of laboratory technicians handling potentially infectious materials was one of the primary goals in the development of the FTA card.  Experiments have shown that FTA-treated paper aggressively inactivates blood-borne pathogens, including Herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and HIV, immediately upon contact with the paper (3).  Despite these bactericidal and virucidal properties, the FTA-treated matrix is considered hypoallergenic and nontoxic to humans. All of the components that make up FTA are natural metabolites and/or have a long history of human use.

Is the FTA card stable?
The unique properties of the FTA-treated matrix have been designed to protect and stabilize DNA from both microbial and environmental degradation.   Studies have shown that specimens collected on FTA displayed significant protection when exposed to the harmful effects of UV light, ozone and conditions of high humidity.  FTA also guards against degradation due to oxidation and the effects of acidic atmospheric gases, and completely prevents colonization by heterotrophic bacteria, fungus and mold.

Is the FTA card transportable?
The FTA-treated stain card offers the safest and most cost-effective method available for the transport of DNA specimens.  This unique system is the only one of its kind that has been formally approved by the US. Postal Service.  

FTA is an archiving tool?
FTA was designed with long-term storage in mind.  Excellent protection from environmental insults and microorganisms allows for room-temperature archiving, eliminating the need for special handling requirements or refrigeration

FTA Card

The FTA card will gradually turn white as DNA is correctly applied to the card.  It is not necessary to completely fill the circle.

Sample Collection

Peripheral Blood:  Blood can be applied directly from a finger puncture to an FTA-treated stain card or, if desired, the FTA paper can be loaded from liquid blood in a tube, using a syringe or pipette. In either case, the 'spotted' card is then left to dry; the dry FTA card is then placed in a foil-lined barrier pouch (with desiccant)..

Buccal Epithelial Cell:  Buccal epithelial cells can be collected using a foam-tipped swab, which is then pressed onto an FTA card.  The saliva absorbed into the swab facilitates cell transfer onto the paper. The card is then air-dried and placed in the foil-lined barrier pouch with desiccant.

1. US patent- "Solid medium and method for DNA storage." Serial number 5,496,562 Dr. L.A. Burgoyne (other patents pending).
2. Williams, P.E., et al. Dec.1995 "Automation of in situ DNA sample preparation for PCR". American Biotechnology Laboratory. pp. 7–10.
3. Burgoyne, L., et al. "Safe collection, storage and automated analysis of DNA from Blood". An abstract/adaptation from the contents of a poster presented to the Fifth International Symposium on Human Identification. October 8-11, 1994, ScottsdaleArizona.

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