A microfabricated, battery-powered thermal cycler was implemented in PCR-based DNA typing for human identification. HLA DQα and an STR triplex were PCR amplified using a device known as the Miniature Analytical Thermal Cycling Instrument (MATCI). The extremely efficient heating properties of the MATCI enabled thermal cycling to be completed in as little as 21 min. In addition, the feasibility of using the real-time fluorescent detection system of the MATCI was demonstrated. The successful application of this portable, prototype device to forensic identity testing is a significant milestone towards the eventual development of a completely integrated DNA testing instrument that would also incorporate sample preparation and allele detection.
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