Optimization of multiplexed PCR on an integrated microfluidic forensic platform for rapid DNA analysis

Matthew D. Estes, Jianing Yang, Brett Duane, Stan Smith, Carla Brooks, Alan Nordquist, Frederic Zenhausern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study reports the design, prototyping, and assay development of multiplexed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on a plastic microfluidic device. Amplification of 17 DNA loci is carried out directly on-chip as part of a system for continuous workflow processing from sample preparation (SP) to capillary electrophoresis (CE). For enhanced performance of on-chip PCR amplification, improved control systems have been developed making use of customized Peltier assemblies, valve actuators, software, and amplification chemistry protocols. Multiple enhancements to the microfluidic chip design have been enacted to improve the reliability of sample delivery through the various on-chip modules. This work has been enabled by the encapsulation of PCR reagents into a solid phase material through an optimized Solid Phase Encapsulating Assay Mix (SPEAM) bead-based hydrogel fabrication process. SPEAM bead technology is reliably coupled with precise microfluidic metering and dispensing for efficient amplification and subsequent DNA short tandem repeat (STR) fragment analysis. This provides a means of on-chip reagent storage suitable for microfluidic automation, with the long shelf-life necessary for point-of-care (POC) or field deployable applications. This paper reports the first high quality 17-plex forensic STR amplification from a reference sample in a microfluidic chip with preloaded solid phase reagents, that is designed for integration with up and downstream processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5510-5519
Number of pages10
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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