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Anal Chem. 2003 Sep 15;75(18):4718-23.

Solving the "world-to-chip" interface problem with a microfluidic matrix.

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Department of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


We report an effective solution to the macroscopic/microfluidic interface issue and demonstrate how microfluidics can achieve impressive economies of scale in reducing the complexity of pipetting operations. Using an N x N microfluidic matrix with N = 20, we performed N2 = 400 distinct PCR reactions with only 2N + 1 = 41 pipetting steps, compared with the 3N2 = 1200 steps required with conventional fluid handling. Each vertex of the matrix has a 3-nL reactor, and a single 2-microL aliquot of polymerase is amortized over all 400 independent reactions, thus dramatically reducing sample overhead and minimizing reagent consumption. Beyond PCR, the matrix chip provides a general method to perform chemical and biological experiments with precious reagents in a highly automated fashion.


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