The scientific goal of the project will be to combine the latest development in DNA quantification technology, called digital PCR (dPCR), with detection on a label-free optical microarray. In dPCR some multiplex methods already exist, however the extent of multiplexing is limited by the number of fluorescence detection channels. With a possibility of amplification, detection and identification of several products at the same time, the practicability and cost-efficiency of the approach could be greatly improved. Multiplex dPCR protocols will be developed in the project to allow coupling with optical microarrays. On the other side, a label-free detection of DNA using a plasmonic microarray will be adapted for the use in this application, including the design and testing of the required capture probes for binding of amplified DNA, the design and realization of a dedicated microfluidic flow cell, the optical (multiplexed) detection of the array, and the signal processing software. Focus will be given to methods for detection of plant pathogens, viruses, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

 The project is funded by DAAD under the number 57448712.