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An Integrated, Electrokinetics-Augmented Microfluidic Device for Forensic DNA Analysis
Title: Senior Engineer
Phone: (256) 327-0678
Title: Senior Contracts Specialist
Phone: (256) 726-4884
The use of WMDs and IEDs by covert insurgents and terrorists poses a significant risk to U.S. military forces and civilians. The capability to execute rapid forensic DNA analysis to identify individuals who manufactured and transported these threatening devices is of paramount importance to military mission, homeland security and civilian safety. Current DNA forensic analyses are time-consuming, bulky, labor-intensive, and costly, limiting their widespread deployment. To address these limitations, we propose to develop an integrated microfluidic device for rapid fieldable forensic DNA analysis. The device harnesses advanced microfluidics and electrokinetics to seamlessly integrate the entire processes of sample preparation and genetic analysis. In Phase I, we will evaluate and compare a suite of candidate enabling DNA techniques to address the challenging project needs. We will design, microfabricate, characterize and demonstrate individual components, including cell lysis, DNA extraction & purification, quantitation, and separation and detection, to establish the proof-of-principle of the proposed technology. Component designs will be obtained using CFDRC-developed high-fidelity simulation tools. The microfabricated components will be tested and demonstrated in our well-equipped microfluidics & bioengineering laboratory. In Phase II, the component design will be refined for enhanced performance, integrability and manufacturability. An integrated microfluidic device combining the various components will be developed and interfaced with COTS technologies for automated operation. Phase II prototype will be demonstrated in terms of producing DNA profiles with commercially available STR PCR amplification kits.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *