Special Issue "Microfluidics for Nucleic Acid Analysis"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology and Biomedicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Michael G. Mauk
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, Towne Building, 220 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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
Guest Editor

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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Article
Fabrication of Hard–Soft Microfluidic Devices Using Hybrid 3D Printing
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060567 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Widely accessible, inexpensive, easy-to-use consumer 3D printers, such as desktop stereolithography (SLA) and fused-deposition modeling (FDM) systems are increasingly employed in prototyping and customizing miniaturized fluidic systems for diagnostics and research. However, these 3D printers are generally limited to printing parts made of [...] Read more.
Widely accessible, inexpensive, easy-to-use consumer 3D printers, such as desktop stereolithography (SLA) and fused-deposition modeling (FDM) systems are increasingly employed in prototyping and customizing miniaturized fluidic systems for diagnostics and research. However, these 3D printers are generally limited to printing parts made of only one material type, which limits the functionality of the microfluidic devices without additional assembly and bonding steps. Moreover, mating of different materials requires good sealing in such microfluidic devices. Here, we report methods to print hybrid structures comprising a hard, rigid component (clear polymethacrylate polymer) printed by a low-cost SLA printer, and where the first printed part is accurately mated and adhered to a second, soft, flexible component (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer) printed by an FDM printer. The prescribed mounting and alignment of the first-printed SLA-printed hard component, and its pre-treatment and heating during the second FDM step, can produce leak-free bonds at material interfaces. To demonstrate the utility of such hybrid 3D-printing, we prototype and test three components: i) finger-actuated pump, ii) quick-connect fluid coupler, and iii) nucleic acid amplification test device with screw-type twist sealing for sample introduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Nucleic Acid Analysis)
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Article
Development of a Portable SPR Sensor for Nucleic Acid Detection
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050526 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
Nucleic acid detection is of great significance in clinical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and food safety. Compared with the traditional nucleic acid amplification detection method, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing technology has the advantages of being label-free, having simple operation, and providing real-time detection. [...] Read more.
Nucleic acid detection is of great significance in clinical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and food safety. Compared with the traditional nucleic acid amplification detection method, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing technology has the advantages of being label-free, having simple operation, and providing real-time detection. However, the angle scanning system in many SPR angle modulation detection applications usually requires a high-resolution stepper motor and complex mechanical structure to adjust the angle. In this paper, a portable multi-angle scanning SPR sensor was designed. The sensor only uses one stepping motor to rotate a belt, and the belt pulls the mechanical linkages of incident light and reflected light to move in opposite directions for achieving the SPR angle scanning mode that keeps the incident angle and reflected angle equal. The sensor has an angle scanning accuracy of 0.002°, response sensitivity of 3.72 × 10−6 RIU (refractive index unit), and an angle scanning range of 30°–74°. The overall size of the system is only 480 mm × 150 mm × 180 mm. The portable SPR sensor was used to detect nucleic acid hybridization on a gold film chip modified with bovine serum albumin (BSA). The result revealed that the sensor had high sensitivity and fast response, and could successfully accomplish the hybridization detection of target DNA solution of 0.01 μmol/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Nucleic Acid Analysis)
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