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Lab-on-a-chip for PCR

A new lab-on-a-chip infection test could provide cheaper, faster portable diagnostics, it is claimed.

The chip, developed at Imperial College London and known as TriSilix, performs a miniature version of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on the spot. Although PCR is usually performed in a laboratory this new lab-on-a-chip can process and present results in a matter of minutes.

To make the new lab-on-chip, the researchers developed a series of methods to produce the chips in a standard laboratory, cutting the costs and time they take to fabricate, potentially allowing them to be produced anywhere in the world.

Lead researcher Dr Firat Guder of Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering said: “Rather than sending swabs to the lab or going to a clinic, the lab could come to you on a fingernail-sized chip. You would use the test much like how people with diabetes use blood sugar tests, by providing a sample and waiting for results – except this time it’s for infectious diseases.”  

go.nature.com/3mrsXE5

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