Future Developments

Real Time PCR

Fluorescent probe bound to DNA

The quantity of DNA produced by PCR can be monitored in real time using specific fluorescent probes. These molecules are introduced into the reaction mixture together with the other reagents and are designed to bind to the DNA strands presents in the sample. If the sample is excited with a light of appropriate wavelength, the bound probes emit a fluorescent signal that can be detected with a light sensor.
Since the intensity of the signal is proportional to the number of bound probes, and thus to the amount of DNA present in the sample, it's possible to have a real time estimation of the PCR product.

RealTime PCR is a topic that is currently investigated by the study of appropriate light emitters and fluorescence sensors.

A detail of a light sensor for fluorescence detection


Portable Device

The low power consumption of the actual PCR system allows it to be integrated in a portable, battery-powered device. Future work will regard the development of an electronic board with a micro-controller and all the hardware necessary to cool and heat the chip. The control software will be adapted to operate on a PDA.
The portable device is intended as an instrument for fast PCR with detection capabilities through the use of fluorescent probes and light sensors.
Prototype of a PCR portable device