Design and experiment of silicon PCR chips
Cui Z., Zhao Z., Xia S.
There are considerable interests in integrating Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on a microchip for DNA amplification in recent years. Various designs for a PCR chip have been reported. Although a microchip can have much fast heating and cooling rate, the delicacy in its structure makes the PCR experiment difficult and cracks often occurs particularly for the thin membrane type of PCR chips. Design study and experiment of silicon PCR chips are presented with the aim of identifying the problems encountered in experiment and finding an optimum chip structure. Heating characteristics of four different heater designs have been compared, so have the PCR chambers with fixed frame and with suspended frame. The thermal stress analysis has shown that the structure and heater design can make significant difference in heating characteristics and in reducing the failure of PCR chips. Different solutions to reduce PCR chip failure have been proposed. One of the solution was implemented in experiment, confirming the design study results. Silicon PCR chips have been fabricated. Thermal cycling and initial DNA amplification results are presented.