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Fully Automated Sample Preparation Microsystem for Genetic Testing of Hereditary Hearing Loss Using Two-Color Multiplex Allele-Specific PCR

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posted on 2015-01-20, 00:00 authored by Bin Zhuang, Wupeng Gan, Shuaiqin Wang, Junping Han, Guangxin Xiang, Cai-Xia Li, Jing Sun, Peng Liu
A fully automated microsystem consisting of a disposable DNA extraction and PCR microchip, as well as a compact control instrument, has been successfully developed for genetic testing of hereditary hearing loss from human whole blood. DNA extraction and PCR were integrated into a single 15-μL reaction chamber, where a piece of filter paper was embedded for capturing genomic DNA, followed by in-situ PCR amplification without elution. Diaphragm microvalves actuated by external solenoids together with a “one-way” fluidic control strategy operated by a modular valve positioner and a syringe pump were employed to control the fluids and to seal the chamber during thermal cycling. Fully automated DNA extractions from as low as 0.3-μL human whole blood followed by amplifications of 59-bp β-actin fragments can be completed on the microsystem in about 100 min. Negative control tests that were performed between blood sample analyses proved the successful elimination of any contamination or carryover in the system. To more critically test the microsystem, a two-color multiplex allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) assay for detecting c.176_191del16, c.235delC, and c.299_300delAT mutations in GJB2 gene that accounts for hereditary hearing loss was constructed. Two allele-specific primers, one labeled with TAMRA for wild type and the other with FAM for mutation, were designed for each locus. DNA extraction from blood and ASPCR were performed on the microsystem, followed by an electrophoretic analysis on a portable microchip capillary electrophoresis system. Blood samples from a healthy donor and five persons with genetic mutations were all accurately analyzed with only two steps in less than 2 h.

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