Analyses of nucleic acids are routinely performed in hospital laboratories to detect gene alterations for cancer diagnosis and treatment decision. Among the different possible investigations, mRNA analysis provides information on abnormal levels of genes expression. Standard laboratory methods are still not adapted to the isolation and quantitation of low mRNA amounts and new techniques needs to be developed in particular for rare subsets analysis. By reducing the volume involved, time process, and the contamination risks, droplet microfluidics provide numerous advantages to perform analysis down to the single cell level.
We report on a droplet microfluidic platform based on the manipulation of magnetic particles that allows the clinical analysis of tumor tissues. In particular, it allows the extraction of mRNA from the total-RNA sample, Reverse Transcription, and cDNA amplification, all in droplets.
Droplet microfluidics Magnetic tweezers Reverse Transcription (RT) PCR
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This work was supported by the NADINE FP7 project, ANR DigiDiag (ANR 10-NANO-02-03) and by the Foundation ARC (young researcher fellowship D.F.). Some technological elements used in this article are covered by patent WO2013041983, property of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
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