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This paper presents a synthesis technique for any random deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences on different substrates such as glass, plastic or silicon by an array of directional droplet ejectors. Any DNA sequence can be synthesized by ejecting droplets of DNA bases by an ultrasonic transducer having lens with air-reflectors (LWARs) that requires no nozzle. The LWAR is capable of ejecting liquid droplets around 80 mum in diameter, and reduces the amount of reagents needed for the synthesis from most of conventional microarray techniques. One major advantage of the nozzleless ejector is that it can eject droplets in any direction, so that a spot can be inked by four ejectors (carrying four DNA bases) without moving the ejector. The directional ejection of the droplets removes the need for aligning the substrate with the ejector, and minimizes the automation and control circuitry. To demonstrate the DNA synthesis capability of the directional droplet ejectors, four LWAR ejectors were used to synthesize a 15-mer 5'-CGCCAAGCAGTTCGT-3' on a substrate surface. This paper describes the concept and scheme of the on-demand DNA synthesis (with MEMS ejector integrated with microfluidic components) along with experimental results of an actual DNA synthesis by four directional droplet ejectors.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007