The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is critical for amplification of target sequences of DNA or RNA that have clinical, biological or forensic relevance. While extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometry (EFPI) has been shown to be adequate for non-contact temperature sensing, the difficulty in defining a reflective surface that is semi-reflective, non-reactive for PCR compatibility and adherent for thermal bonding has limited its exploitation. Through the incorporation of a reflective surface fabricated using a thermally driven self-assembly of a platinum nanoparticle monolayer on the surface of the microfluidic chamber, an enhanced EFPI signal results, allowing for non-contact microfluidic temperature control instrumentation that uses infrared-mediated heating, convective forced-air cooling, and interferometic temperature sensing. The interferometer is originally calibrated with a miniature copper-constantan thermocouple in the PCR chamber resulting in temperature sensitivities of -22.0 to -32.8 nm· °C-1, depending on the chamber depth. This universal calibration enables accurate temperature control in any device with arbitrary dimensions, thereby allowing versatility in various applications. Uniquely, this non-contact temperature control for PCR thermocycling is applied to the amplification of STR loci for human genetic profiling, where nine STR loci are successfully amplified for human identification using the EFPI-based non-contact thermocycling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering