New technology developed by UC Berkeley bioengineers promises to make a workhorse lab tool cheaper, more portable and many times faster by accelerating the heating and cooling of genetic samples with the switch of a light.
This turbocharged thermal cycling, described in a paper published July 31 in the journal Light: Science & Application, greatly expands the clinical and research applications of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, with results ready in minutes instead of an hour or more.
The PCR test, which amplifies a single copy of a DNA sequence to produce thousands to millions of copies, has become vital in genomics applications, ranging from cloning research to forensic analysis to paternity tests.
Ultrafast photonic PCR. Light. Science & Applications (2015) | DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2015.53