A system for rapid point-of-use nucleic acid (NA) analysis based on PCR techniques is described. The extraction and concentration of DNA from test samples has been accomplished utilizing silicon fluidic microchips with high surface-area-to-volume ratios. Short (500 bp) and medium size (48,000 bp) DNA have been captured, washed, and eluted using the silicon dioxide surfaces of these chips. Chaotropic (GuHCl) salt solutions were used as binding agents. Wash and elution agents consisted of ethanol-based solutions and water, respectively. DNA quantities approaching 40 ng/cm2 of binding area were captured from input solutions in the 100–1000 ng/mL concentration range. For dilute samples of interest for pathogen detection, PCR and gel electrophoresis were used to demonstrate extraction efficiencies of about 50 percent, and concentration factors of about 10× using bacteriophage lambda DNA as the target. Rapid, multichannel PCR thermal cycling modules with integrated solid-state detection components have also been demonstrated. These results confirm the viability of utilizing these components as elements of a compact, disposable cartridge system for the detection of NA in applications such as clinical diagnostics, biowarfare agent detection, food quality control, and environmental monitoring.