Inhibitory effect of common microfluidic materials on PCR outcome

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Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, ISSN: 0925-4005, Vol: 161, Issue: 1, Page: 349-358

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Kodzius, Rimantas; Foulds, Ian G.; Gong, Xiuqing; Wen, Weijia; Wu, Jinbo; Xiao, Kang; Yi, Xin
Elsevier BV; Elsevier
Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy; Engineering; Bovine serum albumin (BSA); Microfluidics; PCR (polymerase chain reaction); PCR compatibility; Polymerase; Surface passivation
article description
In this study, we established a simple method for evaluating the PCR compatibility of various common materials employed when fabricating microfluidic chips, including silicon, several kinds of silicon oxide, glasses, plastics, wax, and adhesives. Two-temperature PCR was performed with these materials to determine their PCR-inhibitory effect. In most cases, adding bovine serum albumin effectively improved the reaction yield. We also studied the individual PCR components from the standpoint of adsorption. Most of the materials did not inhibit the DNA, although they noticeably interacted with the polymerase. We provide a simple method of performing PCR-compatibility testing of materials using inexpensive instrumentation that is common in molecular biology laboratories. Furthermore, our method is direct, being performed under actual PCR conditions with high temperature. Our results provide an overview of materials that are PCR-friendly for fabricating microfluidic devices. The PCR reaction, without any additives, performed best with pyrex glass, and it performed worst with PMMA or acrylic glue materials.