Clockwork PCR Including Sample Preparation


  • This work was funded by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the Biomedical Research Council, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. We thank A. Goh for proofreading, K. J. Leck for cell transfections, M. Khidhir Khairudin for technical drawings, V. Zahlava for designing/assembling the printed circuit boards, and M. Kurisawa for entrusting his watch to us.


original image

For whom the bell tolls: Surface-functionalized superparamagnetic particles emulsified in mineral oil turn a free-standing droplet into a flexible virtual laboratory with (sub)microliter volumes. By using magnetic forces, rare acute monocytic leukaemia cells are extracted from blood, preconcentrated, purified, lysed, and subjected to a real-time PCR in minutes. The PCR works like a clockwork by rotating the droplet over different temperature zones.