Novel Patterning Techniques for DNA-sensing Microarray Fabrication

DNA microarrays typically consist of a glass slide with an array of polyacrylamide gel pads.

One commercially available microarray coats a glass slide with acrylamide gel, then photopolymerizing the acrylamide to create the array of square pads. “Probe” DNA is deposited and linked to the polyacrylamide gel pads, using a pin-robot or jet printer. This microarray is associated with a large background fluorescence signal. Another commercially available microarray utilizes a pin-robot, which deposits a mixture of probe DNA and polyacrylamide gel onto the glass slide. This produces round pads in the array that already have the gel and probe DNA incorporated. This design is slow to hybridize and often yields false identification. In addition, the spot size is very difficult to control, as the individual drops’ wetting properties vary with the chosen probe. APL scientists have developed novel techniques to create patterned DNA microarrays. These techniques minimize background fluorescence, reduce false positives, and allow for uniform spot size.

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