Special Issue "Microfluidics for Nucleic Acid Analysis"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).
Interests: active Control of flow patterns; carbon nanopipettes and cellular probes; electrokinetics and dielectrophoresis; liquid cell electron microscopy (the nanoaquarium); magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD); microfluidic pumps, stirrers; microfluidics with low temperature co-Fired ceramic tapes (LTCC); microswimmers (C. elegans); nanowalkers (molecular motors); point of care diagnostics (lab on chip); energy storage and desalination
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Microfluidics ‘lab on a chip’ sample processing and analysis is of increasing interest for point-of-care (POC) medical diagnostics, high-throughput research, and ultrasensitive assays, such as single-cell analysis and detection of cancer and other genetic biomarkers in liquid biopsies (large-volume blood samples). Nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) based tests provide remarkable sensitivity and specificity, primarily through sequence-specific enzymatic amplification, e.g., PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which facilitates detection—and often quantitation—of target nucleic acid sequences by optical, electrical, or electrochemical means.
Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) have substantial advantages for diagnostics over immunoassays but require more sample processing and supporting instrumentation. Microfluidic formats for NAATs have potential advantages for improved performance (improved sensitivity and specificity), faster test times, automated operation, portability, compactness, better containment and prevention of cross-contamination). NAATs may include various pre-amplification processing steps, such as extraction of plasma from whole blood, lysis of cells or viruses, and nucleic acid isolation whereby DNA and/or RNA is extracted, purified, and concentrated as a template for amplification. Heterogeneous and highly variable samples such as blood (whole, plasma, or serum), or medical specimens (saliva, urine, stool), cell culture, biopsies, environmental samples, food, or forensic materials present application-specific issues and challenges.
Despite the considerable efforts in exploring and developing microfluidics NAATs over the last two decades, there is—as yet—no broad consensus on the best materials, designs, means of fluid actuation and flow control, and methods of fabrication. Diverse approaches and new applications, such as environmental monitoring, food safety, quality assurance, bioterrorism detection, and cancer screening continue to proliferate. Some areas of interest are novel reporter systems (e.g., bioluminescence, electrochemical sensors), isothermal amplification, rapid prototyping, cellphone-based detection and other capabilities, ‘paper microfluidics’ and ‘lab on a CD’. This Special Issue seeks research papers, short communications, and review articles that focus on the above and related topics. We look forward to receiving your submissions.
Dr. Michael G. Mauk
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
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