A Caltech Library Service

A Parylene Real Time PCR Microdevice


Quach, Quoc Chan (Brandon) (2010) A Parylene Real Time PCR Microdevice. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/YC9S-0R15.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a powerful biochemical assay that is used in virtually all biochemical labs. By specifically amplifying a small sample of DNA, this technique is useful in the fields of paternity testing, forensics, and virus detection, just to name a few. A useful advancement of PCR involves monitoring the fluorescence generated by an increase in DNA during the amplification. This so called real time (RT)PCR allows quantification of the initial sample amount and allows for shorter assay times by stopping the reaction when enough fluorescence has been detected.

Technology in the field of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) has advanced from the academic laboratory level to a handful of commercially successful devices. Work on adapting MEMS to biochemical applications, however, is still at the laboratory research stage. Recent breakthroughs in the use of more biocompatible materials in MEMS devices have helped to advance bio-MEMS. In particular, the polymer Parylene has superior properties that present a promising new platform for this field.

This work presents the design, fabrication, and testing of a parylene-based MEMS RTPCR device. By combining advancements in both biology and MEMS engineering, this work demonstrates the feasibility of such a device along with quantitative analysis and data that serve as a guide for its future development.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:real time, PCR, MEMS, microfluidics, parylene
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Bioengineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Tai, Yu-Chong
Thesis Committee:
  • Tai, Yu-Chong (chair)
  • Gharib, Morteza
  • Yang, Changhuei
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman
Defense Date:4 December 2009
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:12142009-145646250
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5443
Deposited By: Quoc Quach
Deposited On:07 May 2010 21:48
Last Modified:26 Oct 2023 23:46

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page