A Novel Label-free modality for DNA Quantification and Cell Counting towards Clinical Analysis in Microfluidic Systems

Li, Jingyi, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia
Cafiso, David, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia
Columbus, Linda, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia
Venton, Jill, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia

The advance in microfluidics has enabled various novel analyses in biomedical studies, with advantages such as improved portability and reduced reagent consumption. However, challenges remain in this field, as the assay complexity generally increases with reduced dimensions of instruments, while simplicity and cost-effectiveness are desired for prevalent applications. As a result, efforts are required to tailor convectional methods, and in some cases, to invent new approaches, for microfluidic platforms. DNA quantification and cell counting are two keystones in biological and medical sciences. Conventional technologies requires large and expensive footprint, and thus are not suitable for integration in microfluidic systems. This dissertation presents a new approach, coined as 'the pinwheel assay', to quantify DNA and to enumerate cells via the DNA-induced aggregation of paramagnetic particles in an engineered magnetic field, which can be readily adapted for microfluidic applications.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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