About dPCR4FreeDNA

This project aims to develop a microfluidic (μF) device for the rapid detection of cancer from free circulating DNA in blood and urine samples to the used at medical centres. The μF device will be able to dispense and mix samples with target PCR reagents by digital uF (DMF), to amplify DNA by digital PCR (dPCR) and to detect DNA by a label free method. Several innovations to be developed: (1) the integration in to a single platform of DMF with microfluidics circuits; (2) the possibility to test different diseases by sequential PCR reagent mixing in the DMF stage; (3) the sequential injection of samples in to the dPCR circuit where microdroplets containing each up to a single DNA strand are generated and amplified in continuous flow; (4) detection of DNA using an amorphous silicon photo-resistor sensor and by electrical impedance; (5) a pressure and release mechanism for fluid flow, without needing siring pumps and expensive associated equipment; (6) use of 3D printing technology.

This project results in a collabiration between the Advanced Functional Materials for Micro and Nanotechnologies group at CENIMAT|i3N and the Nanomedicine group at UCIBIO, both at FCT NOVA. The coordination is being carried out by Professor Hugo Águas from CENIMAT|i3N & CEMOP/UNINOVA and Professor Pedro Viana Baptista from UCIBIO.