Chemical amplification: continuous-flow PCR on a chip

Science. 1998 May 15;280(5366):1046-8. doi: 10.1126/science.280.5366.1046.


A micromachined chemical amplifier was successfully used to perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in continuous flow at high speed. The device is analogous to an electronic amplifier and relies on the movement of sample through thermostated temperature zones on a glass microchip. Input and output of material (DNA) is continuous, and amplification is independent of input concentration. A 20-cycle PCR amplification of a 176-base pair fragment from the DNA gyrase gene of Neisseria gonorrhoeae was performed at various flow rates, resulting in total reaction times of 90 seconds to 18.7 minutes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Glass
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / enzymology
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / instrumentation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Temperature
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Time Factors


  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II