Maskless DNA Array Synthesizer
Fraunhofer Life Sciences Engineering Group
- © 2007 Fraunhofer CMI.
Manufacturing custom nucleic acid arrays
In the post-human genome project era, the demand for large scale studies using nucleic acid arrays is increasing. Although prefabricated arrays for specific experimental purposes are commercially available, the ability to rapidly produce smaller custom arrays is of great utility to research groups. Thus, in collaboration with the Boston University Genome Science Institute, we undertook the development of an instrument for low-cost and rapid production of custom DNA arrays (several hundred to several hundred thousand sequences) for research purposes.
We built a prototype using a maskless lithography approach to enable photochemistry. This photolithography technique applies semiconductor processing methods to a biochip setting. The prototype allows polymerization of user-determined nucleotides at pre-programmed locations and enables the researcher to create customized arrays with about 10,000 arbitrary oligonucleotide elements, each up to 25 bases long, in approximately 13 hours.
- Maskless system with precision fluid deposition enables researchers to create custom diagnostic chips
- Computer programmability allows for easy configuration changes