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Science. 1998 May 15;280(5366):1046-8.

Chemical amplification: continuous-flow PCR on a chip.

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  • 1Zeneca/SmithKline Beecham Centre for Analytical Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London SW7 2AY, UK.


A micromachined chemical amplifier was successfully used to perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in continuous flow at high speed. The device is analogous to an electronic amplifier and relies on the movement of sample through thermostated temperature zones on a glass microchip. Input and output of material (DNA) is continuous, and amplification is independent of input concentration. A 20-cycle PCR amplification of a 176-base pair fragment from the DNA gyrase gene of Neisseria gonorrhoeae was performed at various flow rates, resulting in total reaction times of 90 seconds to 18.7 minutes.

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