Chapter 4.1

Designing the Molecular Laboratory to Decrease Contamination Objectives and Resources

This section discusses ways in which the molecular laboratory can be designed as well as ways in which the workflow can be scheduled in order to eliminate inadvertent cross contamination of samples.  Physical barriers, chemical barriers, and even timing of runs between pre-PCR and post-PCR are also discussed.  (22 slides) 



  • Discuss how the different types of PCR (real-time vs. conventional) vary in their susceptibility to cross contamination.
  • Indicate how the need for physical, space, and timing barriers influence the design of the molecular laboratory.
  • Discuss common chemical and physical barriers used to reduce contamination.
  • Explain the differences in the design of pre-PCR labs and post-PCR labs.
  • Compare DNA amplicon vs. RNA amplicon as to the degree of potential contamination risk.

Readings: MD, p. 76-77, 131-133, 298, Chapter 16