Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Development of a Continuous Flow Polymerase Chain Reaction Device in Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Don Plumlee


Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a method of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) amplification involving a sample experiencing three precisely controlled temperature zones for a certain amount of time; the temperatures and dwell times of each zone varies with species. A Continuous Flow PCR device has been designed and fabricated using Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics (LTCC). LTCC is desirable due to its non-reactive properties, ability to create internal three dimensional structures, low cost and compatibility with embedded heaters. This work will focus on the development of a device that contains a single continuous internal channel and three separate temperature zones. The initial internal channel geometry and heater sizing were determined using an analytical and heat transfer model. The first zone was fabricated with the model results and tested with water to develop a control system capable of precise thermal management. Results from the first zone were applied to the design of one complete cycle (3 zones) and then to a multi-loop (8 cycles) device. The multiple cycle design utilizes a simple, radially inward channel configuration which allows for the sample to flow continuously. Embedded temperature sensors, whose impedance is a function of temperature, have been developed to monitor each zone. The data is plotted and shows the control system’s ability to maintain minimal temperature variation and the time to reach steady state. Additionally, thermal images of LTCC surface indicate the device’s ability to thermally isolate each zone.