Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Lab On A Chip" For DNA Testing

Date:
October 22, 1998
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
A multidisciplinary team of engineering and genetic scientists at the University of Michigan has created a miniature "laboratory on a chip" that automatically analyzes DNA samples and reports the results electronically.

ANN ARBOR---A multidisciplinary team of engineering and genetic scientists at the University of Michigan has created a miniature "laboratory on a chip" that automatically analyzes DNA samples and reports the results electronically.

The device---a glass-and-silicon chip smaller than a child's pinky finger---is far less expensive than conventional methods of analyzing DNA (which require specialized laboratories, equipment, and personnel) yet just as quick and sensitive.

It is expected that the "lab on a chip" will be the key component in simple, low-cost, portable instruments that replace the current technology and make DNA analysis widely available.

The broad availability of simple DNA testing equipment should produce major benefits in many fields, including medical diagnostics, forensics, and agriculture. Among the potential applications are the diagnosis of infectious diseases in minutes rather than days, rapid identification of crime suspects, and on-the-spot categorization of endangered species in remote locations.

The invention is the product of five years of work by chemical engineering Prof. Mark A. Burns, along with Profs. David Burke (human genetics) and Carlos Mastrangelo (electrical engineering and computer science) and their colleagues. The work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling nearly $3 million.

Their method of micro-fabricating a fluid and electronic chip capable of complex chemical analysis is detailed in the Oct. 16 issue of the journal Science, in an article by Burns titled "An Integrated Nanoliter DNA Analysis Device."

The chip includes systems for metering, measuring, and mixing microscopic liquid samples of DNA with reagents, moving the mixtures to an integrated, temperature-controlled reaction chamber, separating DNA molecules by size (through gel electrophoresis), and determining the results with an on-board fluorescence detector.

All components are contained on a single glass-and-silicon wafer, except for external light and air-pressure sources and a printed board containing control circuitry. One key to micro-fabricating the chip was the team's development of a photo-lithographic technique for etching precise hydrophobic regions in the injection channels of the silicon layer.

In contrast to DNA analysis in a standard laboratory---which relies on human intervention at several stages to manipulate or observe samples and record results---the self-contained "lab on a chip" represents an almost "hands free" technology.

The team's success with the DNA-testing chip suggests that similar integrated systems can be constructed at the nanoliter scale using sample and reagent volumes far smaller than those needed in typical human or robotic handling methods.

Cost savings should be a major byproduct because of increased processing speed; lower expenses for labor, equipment, and material; as well as inexpensive production through photolithography.

Preliminary estimates by Burns suggest that the cost of producing the DNA-testing chip in research-sized quantities may be approximately $6 per device. Mass production would lower that amount considerably.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. ""Lab On A Chip" For DNA Testing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981022072654.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1998, October 22). "Lab On A Chip" For DNA Testing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981022072654.htm
University Of Michigan. ""Lab On A Chip" For DNA Testing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981022072654.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins