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Microbiochemical reactors for enzymatic reactions including cell-free mRNA translation

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image of Journal of Micromechatronics

As the first step toward the 'lab on a chip' or 'cell on a chip' concept, several microbiochemical reactors were fabricated using conventional MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) techniques: silicon anisotropic etching and glass-silicon anodic bonding. The microreactors have main reaction channels which are 14 mm long, 200-800 μm wide, and 20 μm deep. In these channels, enzymatic reactions - luciferin-luciferase reaction and cell-free mRNA translation - were demonstrated. Luminescence induced by the luciferin-luciferase reaction was observed in two ways, by photograph on a high-speed film and sensitive video imaging. In both cases, diffusion-based mixing in the microreactors was clearly visualized. In the cell-free protein synthesis experiment, the amount of polyphenylalanine, which was synthesized by translating polyuridylic acid template in the microreactors, was determined using radioisotope assay.

Affiliations: 1: Biochemical Systems Laboratory, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), 2-1, Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan; 2: Department of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1, Ohkubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0072, Japan


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