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VOLUME -24 NUMBER 3
Publication Date: 03/1/2009
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March 2009 Issue
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Nextreme Controls Polymerase Chain Reaction Process
Transient temperature measurement.
Durham, NC — Nextreme Thermal Solutions has successfully demonstrated the application of thin-film thermoelectric devices for temperature control of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process used for DNA amplification. The microscopic size and millisecond response time of the company's thin-film eTEC thermoelectric modules enable significantly shorter throughput times for DNA sequencing equipment.
DNA replication represents just one of several applications of the company's product line for the test and measurement and healthcare industries.
The company has demonstrated short cycle time temperature control using two eTEC UPF40 thermoelectric modules that perform as microscopic heat pumps. The module uses the thermoelectric effect to heat or cool objects simply by changing the direction of current flow.
A UPF40 module can pump a heat flux up to 80W/cm
at 25°C and is extremely thin, with a 0.650mm profile and a small 2.5 X 5.1mm footprint. Users can expect 4.1 watts of cooling and heating from a device with less than a 2 msec response time at the device level. In the micro-PCR application, where the company was heating and cooling a plastic vial with water in it, this translated into an ability to heat the water up to 90°C in 15 seconds and cool it back down to 55°C in under 10 seconds.
PCR is a technique widely used in molecular biology to produce millions of copies of a specific DNA sequence in a short period of time. PCR-based testing is used in the diagnosis of hereditary diseases; the identification of genetic fingerprints (used in forensic sciences and paternity testing); and the detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases. The vast majority of PCR methods use thermal cycling, i.e., alternately heating and cooling of the DNA sample based on a predefined series of temperature steps.
Contact: Nextreme Thermal Solutions, Inc., 3908 Patriot Dr., Suite 140, Durham, NC 27703-8031
919-597-7300 fax: 919-597-7301 Web:
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