Sample pretreatment is a critical series of processing steps in most protocols involving microarrays. It usually involves a labor-intensive, time-consuming process, which also requires bulky and costly apparatus to ensure a high-quality RNA extraction. Furthermore, an efficient hybridization process is also critical for practical applications in microarrays. The present study, therefore, reports a new microfluidic system capable of automatically performing the sample pretreatment and hybridization processes for microarrays. Process steps including cell lysis, extraction of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), reverse transcription (RT), purification of complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA), and hybridization, are all performed automatically in this miniature system. When compared to the conventional methods, which usually require well-trained personnel and time consuming processes, this proposed microfluidic system can perform the entire experimental protocol automatically within 6 h. This developed system may provide a useful platform for subsequent genetic analysis and diagnostic applications.
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