DNA Amplification by Electric Field Cycling (efc-PCR)

Tech ID: 27267 / UC Case 2011-728-0

Brief Description

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a popular technique for amplifying and quantifying minute quantities of DNA. Technologies based on PCR are used for a wide range of applications, including forensics, disease detection, and laboratory tools. Researchers at UCI have developed a device that can implement a novel method for PCR based on voltage cycling as opposed to temperature cycling (the current method for PCR). This allows the device to be much more portable and compact than those currently available.

Full Description

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is the most commonly used technique for amplifying and quantifying minute quantities of DNA, beginning with a single molecule. Applications for technologies stemming from the basic process of PCR span forensics, disease detection, and laboratory tools. Currently, conventional PCR works by amplifying DNA using specific temperatures for a sequence of three steps: elongation, denaturing, and annealing the DNA. This method of “temperature cycling” takes about one hour, and requires bulky equipment.

Researchers at UCI have developed a device capable of performing PCR by using voltage (electric field) cycling instead of temperature cycling, effectively shortening the time for amplification to less than five minutes. Voltage cycling is done purely using electric fields, making the equipment lighter, portable and battery operated.

Suggested uses

Replacement for current PCR technology

Advantages

§ Lighter/more portable device

§ Shortens PCR time from 1 hour to less than 5 minutes

§ Wide range of applications, as PCR is utilized in a wide range of technologies

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10,280,392 05/07/2019 2011-728
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,255,290 02/09/2016 2011-728
 

State Of Development

PCR performed using voltage cycling has been established and proven successful in amplifying a 100 base amplicon from a 150 base DNA strand in 4 minutes.

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