Conference Paper

Microfluidic chips for the molecular analysis of human cancer

Dept. of Elecr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta., Canada
DOI: 10.1109/ICMENS.2003.1222027 Conference: MEMS, NANO and Smart Systems, 2003. Proceedings. International Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Although the large-scale analysis of the human genome has provided a wealth of information for the genetic analysis of cancer and other diseases, most of these advances are unavailable in the clinic due to their expense and complexity. The development of miniaturized devices capable of automated real time analysis of genetic profiles is likely to enable routine genetic analysis of diseases such as cancer, whether for diagnosis or for monitoring treatment throughout the course of the disease. Microfluidic chips allow detection of mutations and abnormal gene expression patterns. Here, we describe the application of microfluidic chips for the molecular monitoring of gene expression profiles associated with human cancer. On-chip RT-PCR products are detectable after as few as 15 cycles of PCR, and from individual cells. On-chip detection is as sensitive as or exceeds the sensitivity obtained using conventional technologies.

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    • "However, without on-chip valves it was difficult to control the flow of the PCR mixture and integrate the PCR module with additional on-chip analysis systems. Our work with non-flowing PCR within a well or internal reservoir (Backhouse et al., 2003; Pilarski et al., 2004) suffered low yields because of the tendency of the PCR mix to dry out or move under the influence of thermophoretic forces and/or the pressure caused by the release of dissolved gasses. "
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    • "The development of microfluidic platforms for the use in lab-on-chip devices has the potential to reveal detailed health information through automated real-time analysis (Backhouse et al., 2003). Just as large computers have been decreased to the size of dime-sized chips, so too have the tools of biotechnology undergone drastic miniaturization (Staeder, 2002). "
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