Ultrafast Amplification of DNA on Plastic Microdevices for Forensic Short Tandem Repeat Analysis

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The majority of microfluidic devices used as a platform for low-cost, rapid DNA analysis are glass devices; however, microchip fabrication in glass is costly and laborious, enhancing the interest in polymeric substrates, such as poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), as an inexpensive alternative. Here, we report amplification in PMMA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) microchips providing full short tandem repeat profiles (16 of 16 loci) in 30–40 min, with peak height ratios and stutter percentages that meet literature threshold requirements. In addition, partial profiles (15 of 16 loci) were generated using an ultrafast PCR method in 17.1 min, representing a ˜10-fold reduction in reaction time as compared to current amplification methods. Finally, a multichamber device was demonstrated to simultaneously amplify one positive, one negative, and five individual samples in 39 min. Although there were instances of loci dropout, this device represents a first step toward a microfluidic system capable of amplifying more than one sample simultaneously.

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