Thermal ramp rate is a major limiting factor in using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for routine diagnostics. We explored the limits of speed by using liquid for thermal exchange rather than metal as in traditional devices, and by testing different polymerases. In a clinical setting, our system equaled or surpassed state-of-the-art devices for accuracy in amplifying DNA/RNA of avian influenza, cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Using Thermococcus kodakaraensis polymerase and optimizing both electrical and chemical systems, we obtained an accurate, 35 cycle amplification of an 85-base pair fragment of E. coli O157:H7 Shiga toxin gene in as little as 94.1 s, a significant improvement over a typical 1 h PCR amplification.
Exploring the limits of ultrafast polymerase chain reaction using liquid for thermal heat exchange: A proof of principle
George Maltezos, Matthew Johnston, Konstantin Taganov, Chutatip Srichantaratsamee, John Gorman, David Baltimore, Wasun Chantratita, Axel Scherer; Exploring the limits of ultrafast polymerase chain reaction using liquid for thermal heat exchange: A proof of principle. Appl. Phys. Lett. 27 December 2010; 97 (26): 264101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3530452
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