Development of a self-contained sample preparation cartridge for automated PCR testing
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A self-contained cartridge and an integrated operating prototype for automated molecular testing are described. This newly developed polymeric cartridge consists of multiple chambers self-containing all necessary reagents such as specimens, lysis, wash, and elution buffers. The cartridge is designed for optimal point-of-care testing. The operator can simply load a specimen into a chamber of the cartridge, then install the cartridge, and run the operating instrument. The fluidic movement inside the cartridge including reagents mixing, nucleic acids capturing, wastes-out and eluates collection are controlled by pneumatic actuations of syringe/piston sets and magnet/valve controls. The performance of the sample preparation efficiency on the cartridge was tested using Salmonella bacteria. The cartridge and the operating protocols need further modifications for optimal performance. However, the cartridge and the operating prototype have the potential to become applicable as a sample-in-answer-out tool of molecular diagnostics such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other amplification methods such as isothermal amplification, and further cell-free DNA isolation and analysis.
KeywordsMolecular diagnostics Sample preparation Nucleic acids Point-of-care testing Automated instruments
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