A review on continuous-flow microfluidic PCR in droplets: advances, challenges and future

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Abstract

Significant advances have been made in developing microfluidic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) devices in the last two decades. More recently, microfluidic microdroplet technology has been exploited to perform PCR in droplets because of its unique features. For example, it can prevent crossover contamination and PCR inhibition, is suitable for single-cell and single molecule analyses, and has the potential for system integration and automation. This review will therefore focus on recent developments on droplet-based continuous-flow microfluidic PCR, and the major research challenges. This paper will also discuss a new way of on-chip flow control and a rational design simulation tool, which are required to underpin fully integrated and automated droplet-based microfluidic systems. We will conclude with a scientific speculation of future autonomous scientific discoveries enabled by microfluidic microdroplet technologies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages7-16
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Volume914
Early online date13 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016

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Microfluidics
Polymerase chain reaction
polymerase chain reaction
droplet
Polymerase Chain Reaction
flow control
Single-Cell Analysis
Systems Integration
Technology
automation
Automation
Flow control
Contamination
Equipment and Supplies
Molecules
simulation
Research

Keywords

  • PCR
  • microfluidics
  • DNA amplification
  • microdroplet technology
  • droplet intelligence

Cite this

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abstract = "Significant advances have been made in developing microfluidic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) devices in the last two decades. More recently, microfluidic microdroplet technology has been exploited to perform PCR in droplets because of its unique features. For example, it can prevent crossover contamination and PCR inhibition, is suitable for single-cell and single molecule analyses, and has the potential for system integration and automation. This review will therefore focus on recent developments on droplet-based continuous-flow microfluidic PCR, and the major research challenges. This paper will also discuss a new way of on-chip flow control and a rational design simulation tool, which are required to underpin fully integrated and automated droplet-based microfluidic systems. We will conclude with a scientific speculation of future autonomous scientific discoveries enabled by microfluidic microdroplet technologies.",
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