Last year, Agilent first shipped the product to beta test sites last year as a tool to help scientists research the genetic basis of disease and develop new therapies.
At around the same time, competing products from Affymetrix and MWG Biotech were also introduced, but Agilent claims its product has a key advantage in that it is compatible with industry standard 1" x 3" scanners.
This is significant, says the firm, as a number of laboratories use 'home-made' arrays based on this format for their experiments, so they can switch to the commercial product without having to buy a new scanner.
"Agilent's 60-mer oligo microarray systems provide the highest sensitivity available, resulting in better detection of low-expressing (or rare) genes compared with other commercial gene-expression solutions," claims the company, citing new data presented at the CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Centre) Symposium on the molecular taxonomy of cancer, held in Madrid this week.
It said that this sensitivity is behind a doubling in the number of gene expression customers for its arrays to 400 last year.
The whole human genome microarray represents approximately 41,000 genes and transcripts on a double-density (44k) microarray. Rival products require two microarrays to contain the entire human genome.
"Not only is one microarray less expensive than two, it requires fewer reagents and reduces user handling and instrumentation demands," according to Agilent. This helps streamline researchers' workflow, as they need to prepare, process and analyse only one microarray instead of two.
The company also said that use of a single microarray reduces unnecessary variability in experimental conditions, while smaller quantities of sample material can be used to perform an experiment.
For additional information on availability and pricing visit Agilent's website.