The objective of this project is to investigate nanofluidic single-molecule approaches to DNA mapping using a new denaturation mapping concept developed by W. Reisner. We propose to make advances in extending these approaches to true genome scale applications. We will furthermore demonstrate that epigenomic as well as genomic variations can be mapped with these approaches. Eventually, we seek to develop a device for mapping DNA that was extracted from single-cells on-chip. At the first stage of the project, the fellow will work with Prof. Reisner (McGill Univ.), who is a leader in nanofluidics for DNA analysis, and who will enable basic advances towards genome-scale and epigenetic mapping applications. Here, the fellow will study DNA mapping techniques and will learn how to design and fabricate nanofluidic devices for that purpose. Nanofabrication encompasses highly specialised tools and techniques which the fellow requires throughout the project. At the second stage, the fellow will be hosted by Prof. A. Kristensen (Techn. Univ. of Denmark) who is an expert in nanoimprinting and microfluidics. He will enable advances towards implementing inexpensive fabrication processes with integrated microfluidics for single-cell lysis and DNA purification. The fellow will therefore learn fabrication of polymer-based devices which can be mass-produced inexpensively by injection molding and nanoimprinting. Furthermore, the fellow will learn how to operate the fabricated on-chip devices with integrated single-cell lysis and DNA purification, and subsequent DNA mapping. The broad range of competencies the fellow will acquire throughout the project will help him establish an independent career in micro/nanofluidics.
The proposed advances will contribute to technologies that can (1) speed-up large-scale genome assembly (2) analyse epigenomes/genomes from large ensembles of cells and (3) do so in an inexpensive format that can be widely distributed to potential biomedical end-users.
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