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Miniaturized genetic analysis systems based on microelectronic and microfluidic technologies Open Access


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Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Behnam Dehkordi, Mohammad
Supervisor and department
Backhouse, Christopher (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Elliott, Duncan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Elliott, Duncan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Kostiuk, Larry (Mechanical Engineering)
Backhouse, Christopher (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Gaudet, Vincent (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Lapizco Encinas, Blanca (Microscale Bioseparations Laboratory, CINVESTAV-Monterrey, Mexico)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Genetic analysis is not widely used for disease diagnostics as it is costly and very labour/infrastructure intensive. We believe that by employing both microelectronic and microfabrication technologies, we are able to integrate multiple functionalities into a single, manufacturable, inexpensive instrument that performs complete genetic analysis protocols. Cost reduction (i.e. instrument and reagent costs), smaller size, and higher automation (i.e. lower labour cost) will certainly pave the way for frequent use of genetic analysis for disease diagnostics. In this work, we develop technologies and techniques to implement a low power, inexpensive genetic analysis instrument that performs extraction of genetic material (e.g. DNA) from clinical samples (e.g. blood), genetic amplification (via polymerase chain reaction, PCR) and detection/analysis based on laser induced fluorescence (LIF)-capillary electrophoresis (CE), real-time PCR (rqPCR), and melting point analysis (MPA). This project involves integration of microfluidic and microelectronic technologies as well as molecular biology protocol adaptation. Furthermore, we develop technologies required to realize a single-use chip for genetic analysis. This chip, which is based on monolithic integration of microfluidics and microelectronics, can ultimately be mass produced using standard low-cost, high-volume microelectronic wafer fabrication equipment. We believe that the technologies developed here, along with the molecular biology protocol adaptations, will result in a low cost portable instrument that performs genetic analysis much faster, easier, and less expensive than conventional instruments. This will certainly revolutionize the use of genetic analysis for disease diagnostics.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Mohammad Behnam (2008), Lab on ChipMohammad Behnam (2010), AnalystMohammad Behnam (2010), IET Nanobiotechnology

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