Micro Flow-Through Thermocycler with Simple Meandering Channel with Symmetric Temperature Zones for Disposable PCR-Devices in Microscope Slide Format
Chip-based flow-through PCR implements the PCR as a continuous process for nucleic acid analytics. The sample is transported in a winding channel through temperature zones required for denaturation, annealing and extension. Main fields of application are the monitoring of continuous processes for rapid identification of contaminants and quality control as well as high throughput screening of cells or microorganisms. A modular arrangement with five heating zones for flow-through PCR is discussed and evaluated. The special heater arrangement allows the implementation of up to 40 cycles on the footprint of a microscope slide, which is placed on top of a 5 zones heating plate. Liquid/liquid two phase flow of PCR reaction mixture and mineral oil have been applied to create a segmented flow process scheme. In that way, the developed system may provide flow-through PCR as a unit operation for the droplet based microfluidics platform. The single use of disposable devices is commonly preferred due to the sensitivity of the PCR process to contaminations. All-glass microfluidic chips and disposable chip devices, made from polycarbonate as a replication with identically geometry, have been fabricated and tested. For the first time, microchannel geometries with nearly circular profile developed by all-glass technology have been transferred to mass fabrication by injection compression molding. Both devices have been successfully applied for the detection of the tumor suppressor gene p53. Although product yield and selectivity of the amplification process do not depend on the chip material, a well defined, reliable segmented flow regime could only be realized in the all-glass chip.
Keywordslab-on-a-chip PCR microfluidics two-phase-flow injection molding point-of-care biomedical
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