Microarrays are versatile tools for high throughput screening. Nevertheless they are severely limited. Either the molecules are synthesized in-situ directly on the surface or in-vitro or in-vivo produced externally and then transferred onto the surface. In-situ synthesis shows low yield in terms of purity and restricts therefore the biomolecule probe length to ~50 bp for light-synthesized DNA (Affymetrics) or ~200 bp print-synthesis (Agilent), but allows up to millions of spots per array. Ex-array synthesis on the other hand provides high-purity molecules, but the (bio)synthesis and purification of these molecules is tedious, time consuming and expansive. Also the printing process takes time. Even if one spot can be made per second 100,000 spots will take more than a day.
Therefore the idea arose why not to copy microarrays. Why not make DNA, RNA and protein microarrays as high quality copies of a high quality original? It worked fine for text books and images. So why not apply it for DNA? Why not build a biomolecule copying machine? A biomolecule xeroxer?
For more information visit the website of ZBSA Freiburg.