The ultimate goal of this study is to develop an effective and user-friendly form of thermal cycler to perform Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This paper research the ability to manufacture a thermal cycler using conventional methods and readily available components to achieve a significant performance result with low production cost compared with commercially available counterparts. Commonly, thermal cyclers use an aluminum heating block as a heating vessel for samples, to achieve fast temperature changes and uniformity, but Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) lab-on-a-chip (LoC) is utilized in contrast to silver as a heating vessel in this study to achieve biocompatibility with various samples. The raspberry-Pi pocket computer was used to achieve the necessary control with room for future capabilities addition and improvement. Characterization of the heating and PCR processes was done to understand the heat transfer phenomenon and thermal cycling speed in PDMS environment. This paper also includes analysis of the cycle speed corresponding to the control parameters of the manufactured thermal cycler. Ultimately, the characterization and analysis results will show the achieved performance capabilities of the thermal cycler.
Keywords: lab-on-a-chip, polymerase chain reaction, PDMS, thermal cycler.