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Published December 15, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Microfluidic polymerase chain reaction


We implement microfluidic technology to miniaturize a thermal cycling system for amplifying DNA fragments. By using a microfluidic thermal heat exchanger to cool a Peltier junction, we have demonstrated rapid heating and cooling of small volumes of solution. We use a miniature K-type thermocouple to provide a means for in situ sensing of the temperature inside the microrefrigeration system. By combining the thermocouple, two power supplies controlled by a relay system, and computer automation, we reproduce the function of a commercial polymerase chain reaction thermal cycler and demonstrate amplification of a DNA sample of about 1000 base pairs.

Additional Information

© 2008 American Institute of Physics. Received 4 July 2008; accepted 12 November 2008; published 16 December 2008. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this research by grants from the National Science Foundation (Grant Nos. CHE-0515363 and DMR-0351848).

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