National Science Council (NSC) Project

Development of Micro DNA Chips for Diagnosis of Bacterial Infectious Diseases

....Recently, microfabrication of miniature fluidic devices has attracted considerable interest and made substantial impacts. One of the most promising applications is chemical and biomedical analysis. The objective of the proposed study is to design and fabricate a “Hand-held DNA microchip system” using enabling MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) and nanotechnology to execute several critical procedures for DNA extraction, amplification and strain identification, specifically on the application of bacterial infectious diseases. The success of the proposed project will create breakthrough-enabling technologies for fast bacteria detection by incorporating several crucial technologies from biotechnology and advanced MEMS/Nano-engineering.

....Platform technologies and microchip systems capable of performing similar procedures done in a traditional lab will be developed in the 3-year project. Subsequent procedures such as cell culture, cell lysis, DNA extraction, DNA amplification, identification and detection will be automatically executed on a single-cell level with a high-throughput fashion. If successful, it will be possible to replace tedious labor-intensive procedures for DNA studies and the concept, “Lab-on-a-chip”, will become feasible and handy.

....The outcomes of the proposed study will be a rapid and efficient platform technology to identify infectious bacteria, which is in great needs. We will design and fabricate an integrated DNA microchip system for diagnosis of bacterial infectious diseases. Several innovative micromachined modules will be proposed and integrated to execute accurate and rapid identification of infectious bacteria. Starting from sampling of small amounts of bacteria, we will execute what we have done in a regular bio-analytical lab on a small chip with minimum human intervention. These micro modules will include at least, but not limited to (1) cell culture module, (2) micro flow cytometry (for cell counting and sorting), (3) cell manipulation and transportation module, (4) cell lysis module, (5) micro PCR (polymerase chain reaction) module, (6) microchip electrophoresis module and (7) optical detection module. With this approach, we anticipate revolutionary technologies for fast detection of infectious diseases are feasible in the near future.