13 February 2008 Components for automated microfluidics sample preparation and analysis
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The increasing demand for portable devices to detect and identify pathogens represents an interdisciplinary effort between engineering, materials science, and molecular biology. Automation of both sample preparation and analysis is critical for performing multiplexed analyses on real world samples. This paper selects two possible components for such automated portable analyzers: modified silicon structures for use in the isolation of nucleic acids and a sheath flow system suitable for automated microflow cytometry. Any detection platform that relies on the genetic content (RNA and DNA) present in complex matrices requires careful extraction and isolation of the nucleic acids in order to ensure their integrity throughout the process. This sample pre-treatment step is commonly performed using commercially available solid phases along with various molecular biology techniques that require multiple manual steps and dedicated laboratory space. Regardless of the detection scheme, a major challenge in the integration of total analysis systems is the development of platforms compatible with current isolation techniques that will ensure the same quality of nucleic acids. Silicon is an ideal candidate for solid phase separations since it can be tailored structurally and chemically to mimic the conditions used in the laboratory. For analytical purposes, we have developed passive structures that can be used to fully ensheath one flow stream with another. As opposed to traditional flow focusing methods, our sheath flow profile is truly two dimensional, making it an ideal candidate for integration into a microfluidic flow cytometer. Such a microflow cytometer could be used to measure targets captured on either antibody- or DNA-coated beads.
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M. Archer, J. S. Erickson, L. R. Hilliard, P. B. Howell, D. A. Stenger, F. S. Ligler, B. Lin, "Components for automated microfluidics sample preparation and analysis", Proc. SPIE 6898, Silicon Photonics III, 68981C (13 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.766492; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.766492

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