Rapid real-time PCR and high resolution melt analysis in a self-filling thermoplastic chip†
A microfluidic platform designed for point-of-care PCR-based nucleic acid diagnostics is described. Compared to established microfluidic PCR technologies, the system is unique in its ability to achieve exceptionally rapid PCR amplification in a low cost thermoplastic format, together with high temperature accuracy enabling effective validation of reaction product by high resolution melt analysis performed in the same chamber as PCR. In addition, the system employs capillary pumping for automated loading of sample into the reaction chamber, combined with an integrated hydrophilic valve for precise self-metering of sample volumes into the device. Using the microfluidic system to target a mutation in the G6PC gene, efficient PCR from human genomic DNA template is achieved with cycle times as low as 14 s, full amplification in 8.5 min, and final melt analysis accurately identifying the desired amplicon.