Research Topic

Microfluidic Chip Applications in the Analysis of Nucleic Acids, Immunofluorescence Assay, and Organ Simulation

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About this Research Topic

With the development of Micro-Electro-Mechanical systems, microfluidic chips play an important role in biological, chemical, and engineering applications. Through capillary electrophoresis (CE) microchips, researchers have developed a portable CE system based on cellphone. By natural convection polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or continuous flow PCR microfluidic chips, the target DNA can be amplified within 10 min. Combining electrophoresis and PCR technology, the amplification of target DNA and detection of the PCR products on-line can be achieved within 16 min. Moreover, organ-on-a-chip system can be employed to build models for disease mechanism studying and in-vitro drug testing that mimic in vivo human tumor microenvironment and biological systems, resulting in more reliable results. In addition, point-of-care testing has the potential to be a smart solution for biomedical assay in the resource-limited areas.

Using microfluidic platform or capillary electrophoresis for immunoassay, cell sorting, bioseparations, nanoanalysis and diagnosis, etc is definitely a good candidate for point-of-care testing due to its multifunctional capability, convenience for operation and low lost per assay. However, although many papers have reported on microfluidic chip-based CE and PCR technology, there are still no commercial instruments based on the microfluidic chip. There are still many challenges to a commercial application of microfluidic chips, such as automatic injecting samples into the micro channels, how to reduce bubbles in the microfluid, and how to control fluid flow, monitor physiological index, and 3D cell culture in organ-on-a-chip system. Furthermore, it requires multidiscipline knowledge to develop all-in-one and user-friendly microfluidic platforms for various advanced biomedical assays. Further research efforts should be devoted to development of nucleic acid amplification, organ-on-a-chip system, immunoassay, detection and optical imaging technology based on microfluidic platform, and make it more useful.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover the recent development of microfluidic technology in the Point-of-Care testing related field. Papers must focus on the development or optimization of new methods. Papers focusing solely on the use of standard techniques for new applications, or on the engineering of microfluidic devices themselves, will not be accepted. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:

-nucleic acid related technology, such as polymerase chain reaction, capillary electrophoresis.
-3D cell culture
- cell sorting and diagnosis
- bioseparations
- optofluidic imaging, biomedical imaging
- nanoanalysis and nanomaterials‐based separation


Keywords: Nucleic acids, Capillary electrophoresis, microfluidic chip, Point-of-care testing, 3D cell culture


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

With the development of Micro-Electro-Mechanical systems, microfluidic chips play an important role in biological, chemical, and engineering applications. Through capillary electrophoresis (CE) microchips, researchers have developed a portable CE system based on cellphone. By natural convection polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or continuous flow PCR microfluidic chips, the target DNA can be amplified within 10 min. Combining electrophoresis and PCR technology, the amplification of target DNA and detection of the PCR products on-line can be achieved within 16 min. Moreover, organ-on-a-chip system can be employed to build models for disease mechanism studying and in-vitro drug testing that mimic in vivo human tumor microenvironment and biological systems, resulting in more reliable results. In addition, point-of-care testing has the potential to be a smart solution for biomedical assay in the resource-limited areas.

Using microfluidic platform or capillary electrophoresis for immunoassay, cell sorting, bioseparations, nanoanalysis and diagnosis, etc is definitely a good candidate for point-of-care testing due to its multifunctional capability, convenience for operation and low lost per assay. However, although many papers have reported on microfluidic chip-based CE and PCR technology, there are still no commercial instruments based on the microfluidic chip. There are still many challenges to a commercial application of microfluidic chips, such as automatic injecting samples into the micro channels, how to reduce bubbles in the microfluid, and how to control fluid flow, monitor physiological index, and 3D cell culture in organ-on-a-chip system. Furthermore, it requires multidiscipline knowledge to develop all-in-one and user-friendly microfluidic platforms for various advanced biomedical assays. Further research efforts should be devoted to development of nucleic acid amplification, organ-on-a-chip system, immunoassay, detection and optical imaging technology based on microfluidic platform, and make it more useful.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover the recent development of microfluidic technology in the Point-of-Care testing related field. Papers must focus on the development or optimization of new methods. Papers focusing solely on the use of standard techniques for new applications, or on the engineering of microfluidic devices themselves, will not be accepted. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:

-nucleic acid related technology, such as polymerase chain reaction, capillary electrophoresis.
-3D cell culture
- cell sorting and diagnosis
- bioseparations
- optofluidic imaging, biomedical imaging
- nanoanalysis and nanomaterials‐based separation


Keywords: Nucleic acids, Capillary electrophoresis, microfluidic chip, Point-of-care testing, 3D cell culture


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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