A biomechatronic fluid-sample-handling system for DNA processing

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26 Scopus citations


An automated biomechatronic small fluid sample preparation system for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) processing has been developed in the Genomation Laboratory of the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. The system automates steps necessary to prepare DNA for sequencing, using sample volumes ten times smaller than the current state-of-the-art manual and automated instrumentation. This will significantly reduce the time and cost of DNA sequencing and will help the Human Genome Project meet its goal of determining all three billion bases of human DNA sequence by the year 2005. The biomechatronic system comprising electromagnetic actuators, piezoceramic actuators, pneumatic pumps, linear mechanisms, thermal controllers, optical sensors, electronics, computer control, and software is described in detail. Successful experimental results, including restriction enzyme digests and polymerase chain reactions (PCR's) performed with this novel system, are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Automation
  • Biotechnology
  • Integrated systems
  • Sample processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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