Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 339–350 | Cite as

Magnetic-bead-based microfluidic system for ribonucleic acid extraction and reverse transcription processes

  • Chien-Ju Liu
  • Kang-Yi Lien
  • Ching-Yi Weng
  • Jyh-Wei Shin
  • Tsuey-Yu Chang
  • Gwo-Bin Lee


This paper presents a new integrated microfluidic chip that automatically performs ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction and reverse transcription (RT) processes. The microfluidic system consists of a microfluidic control module and a magnetic bio-separator. The microfluidic control module can perform pumping and mixing of small amount of fluids and subsequent purification and concentration of RNA samples by incorporating with the magnetic bio-separator consisting of 2-dimension twisted microcoils. Notably, the magnetic bio-separators are developed either to generate the required magnetic field to perform the separation of magnetic beads or to work as a micro-heater to control the temperature field for the following RT process. Experimental results show that the total RNA can be successfully purified and extracted by using magnetic beads and the subsequent RT processing of the RNA can be performed automatically. Total RNA is successfully extracted and purified from T98 cells utilizing the microfluidic system, which is comparable with the conventional methods. The whole automatic procedure of RNA sample extraction only takes 35 min, which is much faster than the conventional method (more than 2 h). As a whole, the developed microfluidic system may provide a powerful platform for rapid RNA extraction and RT processes for further biomedical applications.


RNA extraction Reverse transcription Magnetic bead Microfluidics Magnetic separator μ-TAS MEMS 



application specific integrated circuit


complementary deoxyribonucleic acid


diethyl pyrocarbonate


deoxyribonucleic acid

DNase I

deoxyribonuclease I


deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate


electromagnetic valve


ethidium bromide


fetal bovine serum


glycerol-dehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase




messenger ribonucleic acid


phosphate buffered saline


polymerase chain reaction




ribonucleic acid



RNase H

ribonuclease H


reverse transcription


reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


ribosomal ribonucleic acid




scanning electron microscope


transfer ribonucleic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chien-Ju Liu
    • 1
  • Kang-Yi Lien
    • 2
  • Ching-Yi Weng
    • 3
  • Jyh-Wei Shin
    • 4
  • Tsuey-Yu Chang
    • 4
  • Gwo-Bin Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Nanotechnology and Microsystems EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  3. 3.The Institute of Basic Medical SciencesNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of ParasitologyNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  5. 5.Medical Electronics and Device Technology CenterIndustrial Technology Research InstituteHsinchuTaiwan

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