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Issue 12, 2007
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An integrated optics microfluidic device for detecting single DNA molecules

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A fluorescence-based integrated optics microfluidic device is presented, capable of detecting single DNA molecules in a high throughput and reproducible manner. The device integrates microfluidics for DNA stretching with two optical elements for single molecule detection (SMD): a plano-aspheric refractive lens for fluorescence excitation (illuminator) and a solid parabolic reflective mirror for fluorescence collection (collector). Although miniaturized in size, both optical components were produced and assembled onto the microfluidic device by readily manufacturable fabrication techniques. The optical resolution of the device is determined by the small and relatively low numerical aperture (NA) illuminator lens (0.10 effective NA, 4.0 mm diameter) that delivers excitation light to a diffraction limited 2.0 µm diameter spot at full width half maximum within the microfluidic channel. The collector (0.82 annular NA, 15 mm diameter) reflects the fluorescence over a large collection angle, representing 71% of a hemisphere, toward a single photon counting module in an infinity-corrected scheme. As a proof-of-principle experiment for this simple integrated device, individual intercalated λ-phage DNA molecules (48.5 kb) were stretched in a mixed elongational–shear microflow, detected, and sized with a fluorescence signal to noise ratio of 9.9 ±1.0. We have demonstrated that SMD does not require traditional high numerical aperture objective lenses and sub-micron positioning systems conventionally used in many applications. Rather, standard manufacturing processes can be combined in a novel way that promises greater accessibility and affordability for microfluidic-based single molecule applications.

Graphical abstract: An integrated optics microfluidic device for detecting single DNA molecules

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jul 2007, accepted on 04 Sep 2007 and first published on 27 Sep 2007

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B710504E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2007,7, 1767-1774
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    An integrated optics microfluidic device for detecting single DNA molecules

    J. R. Krogmeier, I. Schaefer, G. Seward, G. R. Yantz and J. W. Larson, Lab Chip, 2007, 7, 1767
    DOI: 10.1039/B710504E

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