This paper presents a new integrated microfluidic chip that automatically performs ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction and reverse transcription (RT) processes. The microfluidic system consists of a microfluidic control module and a magnetic bio-separator. The microfluidic control module can perform pumping and mixing of small amount of fluids and subsequent purification and concentration of RNA samples by incorporating with the magnetic bio-separator consisting of 2-dimension twisted microcoils. Notably, the magnetic bio-separators are developed either to generate the required magnetic field to perform the separation of magnetic beads or to work as a micro-heater to control the temperature field for the following RT process. Experimental results show that the total RNA can be successfully purified and extracted by using magnetic beads and the subsequent RT processing of the RNA can be performed automatically. Total RNA is successfully extracted and purified from T98 cells utilizing the microfluidic system, which is comparable with the conventional methods. The whole automatic procedure of RNA sample extraction only takes 35min, which is much faster than the conventional method (more than 2 h). As a whole, the developed microfluidic system may provide a powerful platform for rapid RNA extraction and RT processes for further biomedical applications.
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