The sensitive quantification of low-abundance nucleic acids holds importance for a range of clinical applications and biological studies. In this study, we describe a facile microfluidic chip for absolute DNA quantifications based on the digital loop-mediated isothermal amplification (digital LAMP) method. This microfluidic chip integrates a cross-flow channel for droplet generation with a micro-cavity for droplet tiling. DNA templates in the LAMP reagent were divided into ~20,000 water-in-oil droplets at the cross-flow channel. The droplets were then tiled in the micro-cavity for isothermal amplification and fluorescent detection. Different from the existing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chips, this study incorporates gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) into PDMS substrate through silica coating and dodecanol modification. The digital LAMP chip prepared by AuNPs-PDMS combines the benefits of the microstructure manufacturing performance of PDMS with the light-to-heat conversion advantages of AuNPs. Upon illumination with a near infrared (NIR) LED, the droplets were stably and efficiently heated by the AuNPs in PDMS. We further introduce an integrated device with a NIR heating unit and a fluorescent detection unit. The system could detect HBV (hepatitis B virus)-DNA at a concentration of 1 × 101 to 1 × 104 copies/μL. The LED-driven digital LAMP chip and the integrated device; therefore, demonstrate high accuracy and excellent performance for the absolute quantification of low-abundance nucleic acids, showing the advantages of integration, miniaturization, cost, and power consumption.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited