A miniature quantitative PCR device for directly monitoring a sample processing on a microfluidic rapid DNA system

Cedric Hurth, Jianing Yang, Matthew Barrett, Carla Brooks, Alan Nordquist, Stanley Smith, Frederic Zenhausern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We report a microfluidic device and measurement method to perform real-time PCR (or qPCR) in a miniaturized configuration for on-chip implementation using reaction volumes of less than 20 μL. The qPCR bioreactor is designed as a module to be embedded in an automated sample-in/profile-out system for rapid DNA biometrics or human identification. The PCR mixture is excited with a 505 nm diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) and the fluorescence build-up is measured using optical fibers directly embedded to the sidewalls of the microfluidic qPCR bioreactor. We discuss manufacturing and operating parameters necessary to adjust the internal surface conditions and temperature profiles of the bioreactor and to optimize the yield and quality of the PCR reaction for the amplification of 62 bp hTERT intron fragments using the commercial Quantifiler® kit (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA) commonly accepted for genotyping analysis. We designed a microfluidic device suitable for continuously processing a specimen by efficiently mixing the reagents from the kit to a set volume of DNA template on chip. Our approach relies on a calibration curve for the specific device using control DNA. We successfully applied this method to determine the concentration of genomic DNA extracted from a buccal swab on separate microfluidic devices which are operated upstream the qPCR device and perform buccal swab lysis and buccal DNA extraction. A precise correlation between the amount determined on chip and that obtained using a commercial cycler is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 30 2014


  • Fiberoptics
  • Forensics
  • Microfluidics
  • Real-time PCR
  • rapid DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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