Nanobiotechnologies play a crucial role in the development of technologies for DNA analysis, which become increasingly sensitive and high-throughput to address several challenges in biology and medicine. Micro- and nano-fluidics indeed enable the fine control of DNA molecules and their downstream processing for analytical purposes. In this talk, I will present two different research topics focusing on:
– DNA replication analysis by optical mapping in nanochannels (Lacroix, Small, 2016): we will describe how chromosome fragments can be labelled, linearized, and visualized at the single molecule level in nanofluidic channels of ~500 nm in cross section. We will present two methods to stain newly synthesized DNA, and show DNA replication analysis in nanochannels can be used to evaluate the response of cancer cells to drug treatments.
– High sensitivity DNA detection and separation (Ranchon, LabChip, 2016). We will present our technology for DNA analysis in solution, which relies on electro-hydrodynamic fluid actuation in a microchannel or a capillary. We will describe our performances for high molecular weight DNA separation (100-200 kbp fragments are separated in ~2 minutes), as well as our sensivity down to 1 pg/mL analyzed in a few minutes. This technology, patented in 2014 and now commercially available from Picometrics Technologies (Labège, France), enables the direct processing of circulating DNA with no molecular amplification by PCR.
We will conclude by raising challenges for micro and nano-fluidic technologies for the analysis of minute DNA samples.