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Lab Chip. 2010 May 7;10(9):1135-41. doi: 10.1039/b923791g. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Rapid thermal lysis of cells using silicon-diamond microcantilever heaters.

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Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA.


This paper presents the design and application of microcantilever heaters for biochemical applications. Thermal lysis of biological cells was demonstrated as a specific example. The microcantilever heaters, fabricated from selectively doped single crystal silicon, provide local resistive heating with highly uniform temperature distribution across the cantilevers. Very importantly, the microcantilever heaters were coated with a layer of 100 nm thick electrically insulating ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) layer used for cell immobilization on the cantilever surface. Fibroblast cells or bacterial cells were immobilized on the UNCD/cantilever surfaces and thermal lysis was demonstrated via optical fluorescence microscopy. Upon electrical heating of the cantilever structures to 93 degrees C for 30 seconds, fibroblast cell and nuclear membrane were compromised and the cells were lysed. Over 90% of viable bacteria were also lysed after 15 seconds of heating at 93 degrees C. This work demonstrates the utility of silicon-UNCD heated microcantilevers for rapid cell lysis and forms the basis for other rapid and localized temperature-regulated microbiological experiments in cantilever-based lab on chip applications.

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