Transfer of blocker-based qPCR reactions for DNA methylation analysisinto a microfluidic LoC system using thermal modeling.
Kärcher J.et al.
Changes in the DNA methylation landscape are associated with many diseases like cancer. Therefore, DNA methylation analysis is of great interest for molecular diagnostics and can be applied, e.g., for minimally invasive diagnostics in liquid biopsy samples like blood plasma. Sensitive detection of local methylation, which occurs in various cancer types, can be achieved with quantitative HeavyMethyl-PCR using oligonucleotides that block the amplification of unmethylated DNA. A transfer of these quantitative PCRs (qPCRs) into point-of-care (PoC) devices like microfluidic Lab-on-Chip (LoC) cartridges can be challenging as LoC systems show significantly different thermal properties than qPCR cyclers. We demonstrate how an adequate thermal model of the specific LoC system can help us to identify a suitable thermal profile, even for complex HeavyMethyl qPCRs, with reduced experimental effort. Using a simulation-based approach, we demonstrate a proof-of-principle for the successful LoC transfer of colorectal /-qPCR from Epi Procolon® colorectal carcinoma test, by avoidance of oligonucleotide interactions.