Liquid marbles as biochemical reactors for the polymerase chain reaction

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Sreejith, Kamalalayam Rajan
Gorgannezhad, Lena
Jin, Jing
Ooi, Chin Hong
Stratton, Helen
Dzung, Viet Dao
Nam-Trung, Nguyen
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2019
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Abstract

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a popular and well-established DNA amplification technique. Technological and engineering advancements in the field of microfluidics have fuelled the progress of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology in the last three decades. Advances in microfluidics-based PCR technology have significantly reduced the sample volume and thermal cycling time. Further advances led to novel and accurate techniques such as the digital PCR. However, contamination of PCR samples, lack of reusability of the microfluidic PCR platforms, complexity in instrumentation and operation remain as some of the significant drawbacks of conventional microfluidic PCR platforms. Liquid marbles, the recently emerging microfluidic platform, could potentially resolve these drawbacks. This paper reports the first liquid marble based polymerase chain reaction. We demonstrated an experimental setup for the liquid-marble based PCR with a humidity-controlled chamber and an embedded thermal cycler. A concentrated salt solution was used to control the humidity of the PCR chamber which in turn reduces the evaporation rate of the liquid marble. The successful PCR of microbial source tracking markers for faecal contamination was achieved with the system, indicating potential application in water quality monitoring.

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Lab on a Chip

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19

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19

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Chemical sciences

Engineering

Science & Technology

Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Physical Sciences

Technology

Biochemical Research Methods

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Sreejith, KR; Gorgannezhad, L; Jin, J; Ooi, CH; Stratton, H; Dzung, VD; Nam-Trung, N, Liquid marbles as biochemical reactors for the polymerase chain reaction, Lab on a Chip, 2019, 19 (19), pp. 3220-3227

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