Egypt has made its first local PCR machine. The device was made at the Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology, Cairo Scene has reported. The digitized PCR device, designed by a team at the university’s Microelectromechanical Systems Laboratory, has the capacity to detect viral and bacterial infections in food. Supported by Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) through the Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC) initiative, the project was funded with EGP 1.7 million.
The pioneering device is a multi-functioning microfluidic chip that forms minute droplets and doubles the number of the DNA’s dPCR through the generated droplet’s thermal cycle. Unlike traditional PCRs that consist of a single reaction performed within one sample, the new device has the capability to separate sample into hundreds of smaller segments and tests each one of them. This innovative technology allows for higher sensitivity and accuracy when measuring DNA and even has versatile applications including aiding cancer treatment and developing genetically modified organisms (GMO).
TheEgypt Japan University’s Microelectromechanical Systems Laboratory primary focus is developing micro-sensors and analyzers using microfluidics chips and manufacturing micro-devices. These locally-manufactured devices have the highest manufacturing precision in Egypt – with accuracy up to one micron (1/100 of a hair).