Recent and future developments of microarrays: Miniaturization and lab-on-chip approaches Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The introduction and maturation of microarrays (DNA, RNA, protein, etc.) have brought about tremendous advances in the fields of genomics, proteomics, diagnosis, and drug development during the last decades. The current technology, however, is of limited portability and thus is mainly used at research institutions, large pharmaceutical companies, and big hospitals. The great potential of multiple parallelized assays on one platform needs to be unleashed in order to benefit a much wider range of users and spectrum of applications. Real-time, continuous monitoring of environment (atmosphere, water, and ground), personalized diagnostics and medicine at the point of care, and food control at the vending point (vegetables, meat, fish, beverages) are examples that could tremendously impact the lives of billions, and can be addressed with highly portable, deployable, parallel (bio)sensors. These should emerge as the natural evolution of microarrays; however, despite the wide realization of the importance and necessity, they seem to be tardy. The main necessary breakthrough is the miniaturization of the array’s single active site (the “spot”) while maintaining the sensitivity. Additional challenges include integration of subsystems (liquid handling, light sources, reporting systems, etc.) onto the same platform. All these need to be developed in a simultaneous and harmonious manner, and not as separate solutions, in order to achieve the goal.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012