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Title: The rotary zone thermal cycler: A low-power system enabling automated rapid PCR

In this study, advances in molecular biology, microfluidics, and laboratory automation continue to expand the accessibility and applicability of these methods beyond the confines of conventional, centralized laboratory facilities and into point of use roles in clinical, military, forensic, portable, and field-deployed applications. As a result, there is a growing need to adapt the unit operations of molecular biology such as aliquoting, centrifuging, mixing, and thermal cycling to compact, portable, low-power, and automation-ready formats. Here we present one such adaptation, the rotary zone thermal cycler (RZTC), a novel wheel-based device capable of cycling up to four different fixed-temperature blocks into contact with a stationary 4-microliter capillary-bound sample to realize 1-3 second transitions with steady state heater power of less than 10 W. We further demonstrate the utility of the RZTC for DNA amplification as part of a highly integrated rotary zone PCR (rzPCR) system using low-volume valves and syringe-based fluid handling to automate sample loading and unloading, thermal cycling, and between run cleaning functionalities in a compact, modular form factor. In addition to characterizing the performance of the RZTC and the efficacy of different online cleaning protocols, preliminary results are presented for rapid single-plex PCR, multiplex short tandem repeat (STR)more » amplification, and second strand cDNA synthesis.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. SequoiaTek Corp., Bakersfield, CA (United States)
  4. Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203; 534052
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES polymerase chain reaction; microfluidics; thermal conductivity; automation; complementary DNA; polycarbonates; polymerases; thermocouples; DNA amplification; PCR wheel; sample prep automation; portable; low-resource; point of care; online cleaning