The invention relates two general methods for performing PCR amplification, combined with the detection and analysis of the PCR products on a microchip. In the first method, the amplification occurs both outside and within a plurality of gel pads on a microchip, with at least one oligonucleotide primer immobilized in a gel pad. In the second method, PCR amplification also takes place within gel pads on a microchip, but the pads are surrounded by a hydrophobic liquid such as that which separates the individual gel pads into environments which resemble micro-miniaturized test tubes.
This invention was conceived under Contract No. W-31-1-0-ENG-39 between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory. The work was supported by the U.S. Defense Advance Research Project Agency under Interagency Agreement No. AO-E428 by, Grant No. 5/2000 from the Russian Human Genome Program, and by Grant No. a262 from the Moscow Government.