A highly parallel, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) multireactor platform is in high demand to satisfy the high throughput requirements for exploiting the accumulated genetic information from the Human Genome Project. By incorporating continuous flow PCR (CFPCR) devices in a polymer 96-well titer plate format, DNA amplification can be performed with steady-state temperature control and faster reaction speed at lower cost. Prior to the realization of a PCR multi-reactor platform, consisting of a sample delivery chip, a PCR multireactor chip, and a thermal cycler, optimization of the geometry for CFPCR devices in a titer plate-based PCR multi-reactor chip based on manufacturing feasibility is necessary. A prototype PCR multi-reactor chip was designed in a 96-well titer plate format with twelve different CFPCR configurations. High quality metallic, large area mold inserts (LAMIs) were fabricated using an SU-8 based UV-LIGA technique by overplating nickel in SU-8 electroplating templates. Micro molding of polycarbonate (PC) was done using hot embossing, resulting in good replication fidelity over the large surface area. Thermal fusion bonding of the molded PC chips using a custom-made bonding jig yielded acceptable sealing results. The manufacturability investigation throughout the design and the process sequence suggested that the microchannel walls require a minimum width of at least 20 μm and an aspect ratio of 2 for structural rigidity. An optimal CFPCR device for use in a PCR multi-reactor chip can be selected with a series of amplification experiments with the development of a thermal cycler.

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