Viability of fabricating a microfludic biochip without microfabrication processess
Lim, Jonethan You Xiong.
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a technique that is used for replicating a DNA or RNA strand template. Over the years since its introduction, variants of this technique have emerged. One of these variants is Digital PCR (dPCR). dPCR is refinement of the original PCR technique in that it is more reliable and sensitive in the measurement of nucleic acid amounts. Biochips that are used for droplet generation for the dPCR process are often fabricated using silicone or glass using photolithography. It is a slow and expensive process. As such, this project explores the viability of fabricating such a bio chip without using photolithography so as to reduce overall costs. In order to test for viability, several experiments were carried out. They were repeatability tests within the same chip and across different chips. Critical parameters such as tube sizes and flow rate of the carrier oil and sample were varied to observe the effects on the droplet sizes. Lastly, surfactant concentrations that were used to stabilise the droplet emulsion were varied to test for thermal stability. Although the droplets generated have some variance in size it can still be somewhat controlled. Fabrication of these functioning chips is viable even without the use of micro fabrication techniques such as photolithography.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University