Miniature biolab embedded on silicon chip

Researchers from Cornell University have developed a miniaturized DNA-based biological testing system that fits on a silicon chip and can be customized to detect a wide variety of microorganisms. They present their research today at the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) Conference on Bio- Micro- Nano-systems.

The chip consists of two areas. The first area captures the DNA from the sample and purifies it. The second is a reaction chamber where a process called polymerase chain reaction is performed to rapidly replicate the selected segment of DNA, which can then be tested.

“Other people have developed real-time PCR on silicon chips, but nobody has really done the purification of the DNA sample on the same chip,” says Nathan Cady, one of the researchers on the study. “As near as we can tell, we are one of the first groups to incorporate the purification step into the chip.”

Cady and his colleagues are currently working on incorporating a 3rd step to the process that uses fluorescence technology where an added dye would glow green to, indicate a positive sample.

The chip itself is 2 cm x 4 cm in size. Because PCR requires a precise series of specific temperatures at specific times, it fits into a tiny device (5 cm x 5 cm x 3 cm) that handles the cycling of the temperature. Once they have finally incorporated the fluorescence, Cady expects they will have a device roughly the size of a shoebox that will be capable of real-time automated detection of biological agents.

“Part of the reason we put these functions on a chip is that it simplifies the process,” says Cady. “You can hand this to someone in the field, someone who is not a trained lab technician, and they can do it.”

Another advantage of this system is that it has a very broad range in what organisms it can be used to detect. That makes it very useful for a variety of purposes from monitoring food and water supplies to detecting agents of biological warfare.

“We can detect pretty much any organism as long as we have the PCR primers for it,” says Cady.

The ASM Conference on Bio-, Micro-, Nanosystems, held in collaboration with the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society on July 7-10, 2003 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, is intended to provide an interdisciplinary forum for microbiologists and engineers to explore ways in which microbiology can contribute to the growing field of nanotechnology. For further information on the meeting contact Jim Sliwa, ASM Office of Communications.

Media Contact

Jim Sliwa EurekAlert!

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.asmusa.org/

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Life Sciences

Articles and reports from the Life Sciences area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.

Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Immune cells as guests in the tissue

Specialized immune cells settle permanently in tissues of the body and build “local task forces”. Wuerzburger scientists have recently discovered, how these cells can regenerate themselves and can adapt to…

Detecting disruptions in manufacturing operations early

Digitalization in industrial manufacturing Automated assembly operations are a key to success. They enable stable manufacturing, high precision manufacturing and greater responsiveness to market demands. The Fraunhofer Institute for Factory…

Ecological power storage battery made of vanillin

Researchers at TU Graz have found a way to convert the aromatic substance vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries. The technology is an important step towards ecologically…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close