Engineering with PCR Technology

A couple of years ago nobody, apart from those scientists, doctors and laboratory technicians in the medical world, would ever have heard of PCR technology. Nowadays, with the onset and presence of Covid 19, it is sadly one of those phrases we are constantly hearing both in the media and in general everyday conversations as we go about our daily business and chores. But in reality we all need to be very thankful that this technology has been developed and that we can be tested for Covid and indeed many other diseases.

Polymerase Chain Reaction technology, or PCR as it is more widely known, was developed by Kary B. Mullis in the 1980s, who later was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 for his work. Without getting too complicated, in summary the technology works by analysing whether a particular short sequence of DNA code is present in a sample provided by an individual. PCR is used not only to early diagnose but to monitor diseases already present in a patient. The technology is not only quick, but accurate too. But what’s this got to do with engineering I hear you say?

Well, as mentioned earlier the scientists were responsible for developing the chemistry technology, but the expertise of an engineer or two, or maybe more, was and continues to be necessary, to provide CAD/CAE, and supply the supporting technical data, such as the packaging material that encases the product. All this data, makes it possible for the diagnostic test kit to be manufactured and operated as per the original intention, by the end user. There are many medical giants operating at present; companies that have the scope to develop their own diagnostic devices, and manage the entire produce life cycle in-house. But there are others who often require the expertise of specialists in this area.

A good mechanical engineer will be able to collaborate with the scientists involved in order to facilitate a completed diagnostic device. This may take the form of applying their design engineering skills to producing ‘CAD’ and knowledge of injection moulding packaging, which is the most often used material in this area, for its durability and flexibility. This relatively recent scientific breakthrough has resulted with the medical device industry becoming a particular area for growth. I have worked for and with a number of clients in this area for many years and have a particular regard for what is required. So, if you are looking for an engineering company to become part of your chain reaction, who knows the ropes, then we’re open for a discussion any time.