This paper presents a disposable microfluidic device for on-chip lysing, PCR, and analysis in one continuous-flow process. Male-female sex determination was performed with human saliva in less than 20 min from spit to finish, and requiring only seconds of manual sample handling. This genetic analysis was based on the amplification and detection of the DYZ1 repeat region unique to the Y-chromosome. The flow-through microfluidic chip consisted of a single serpentine channel designed to guide samples through 42 heating and cooling cycles. Cycling was performed by matching the local channel geometry to a steady-state temperature gradient established across the microfluidic chip. 38 channel segments were designed for rapid low volume PCR, and four were optimized for spatial DNA melting analysis. Fluorescence detection was used to monitor the amplification and to capture the melting signature of the amplicon was performed with a basic 8-bit CCD camera. The microfluidic device itself was fabricated from microscope slides and a double-sided tape. The simplicity of the system and its robust performance combine in an elegant solution for lab-on-a-chip genetic analysis.
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