Portable thermocycler for Taqman probe based nucleic acid detection using PCR

Decentralized (like at home based) nucleic acid detection that uses parts from 3D printers has been described on this page.  Basically I thought it would be interesting to see if you can make a thermocycler using parts from a 3D printer extruder. Sure enough its possible and it looks like this thing:

Thermocycler for portable PCR detection

CAD view of the thermocycler assembly. It has an imaging station for visualizing fluorescence using something like a cell phone camera. When the Taqman probe binds to the amplified sequence the color change goes from red to green.

It uses heaters and thermistors that also used by 3D printer extruders. It also comes with a pipetting system that can be washed a reused. Actually so can the PCR tubes that you do the reactions in. It takes around 4 hours to do 30 cycles but the block can hold up to 5 PCR tubes at once. The cool thing with this is that you could potentially run tests inexpensively.  

The voltage divider circuit and PID controller were modified from 3D printer derived firmware too (Marlin). So it’s run using an Arduino shield which was custom-made. 

Arduino micro shield that controls a thermocycler for PCR

Arduino micro shield for portable thermocycler for nucleic acid detection and potential decentralized testing platform for SARS-CoV-2. This tool has been validated for Taqman probe PCR

 

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