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Tuesday 21 November 2006

Microarrays consist of spots of biological solutions generated on a rectangular grid. Microarray technology includes applications for functional genomics, pharmacogenomics, SNP genotyping, proteomics and cell signalling.

Microarrays can be fabricated by dispensing the presynthesized biological materials (cDNA, PCR products, peptides/proteins, etc.) or by actually producing the biomaterial directly on the substrate by in situ synthesis.

Microarrays can contain several thousand samples in the area of a few square centimeters. The manufacturing of these arrays by means of deposition of pre-synthesized biomaterials from separate tubes may be impractical due to the separate synthesis, purification and logistic requirements.

In situ synthesis

In situ synthesis has the advantage of only requiring very small volumes of the different synthesis reagents regardless of the number of different end products within the microarray. Synthetically derived surface-bound biomaterials reduce the limitations related to logistic and handling problems.

The synthesized materials can be modified with cross-linking reagents, dyes or biotin, and nucleotide analogues. Ink-jet is ideal for dispensing the fluids involved in the synthesis as it is a non-contact technology and it does not cross-contaminate the fluids.


- DNA microarrays

  • genomic microarrays
  • SNPs microarrays
  • expression profiling
  • oligonucleotide microarrays

- peptide microarrays

See also

- Yahoo Newsgroup on microarray technologies


- Hoheisel JD. Microarray technology: beyond transcript profiling and genotype analysis. Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Mar;7(3):200-10. PMID: 16485019

- Allison DB, Cui X, Page GP, Sabripour M. Microarray data analysis: from disarray to consolidation and consensus. Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Jan;7(1):55-65. PMID: 16369572