Rapid cell lysis and DNA capture in a lysis microreactor

Anne Grobler, Oksana Levanets, Scott Whitney, Christine Booth, Hendrik Viljoen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In clinical diagnostics, the detection and identification of bacterial organisms based on the analysis of their nucleic acids require cell lysis and DNA extraction from clinical samples. A lysis microreactor (LMR) has been developed to perform these tasks with high efficiency and in processing times of approximately 5-10. min. In this paper we report on (1) the kinetics of lysis, (2) the efficiency of DNA capture onto a strip that is inserted into the reactor and (3) application to the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from clinical sputum samples. The LMR has a capacity of 2. ml and it is fitted with an impeller and temperature control. A polystyrene strip, inserted into the LMR at the start of the lysis process, captures the lysed ssDNA. Following a brief overview of the kinetics of lysis, the computational fluid dynamics results of the LMR are shown and a model of the DNA capture is presented. The application to clinical samples and controls demonstrates that this is a promising technology for fast turn-around times and sensitive diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - Oct 22 2012


  • CFD
  • Cell lysis
  • DNA
  • Kinetics
  • Microreactor
  • Mixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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