Agilent's new DNA microarray carries on the tradition that has made this technique so popular with researchers in the drug discovery industry, which is expected to balloon into a $937m (€751m) market by 2010.
Commonly known as gene chip, DNA chip, or biochip, a DNA microarray is a collection of microscopic DNA spots attached to a solid surface, such as glass, plastic or silicon chip forming an array for the purpose of expression profiling, monitoring expression levels for thousands of genes simultaneously.
Agilent's SurePrint microarrays, which contain more than 240,000 features have been designed for applications such as as gene expression, array-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH), array-based chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-on-chip), methylation, splice-variant analysis and microRNA studies.
The microarrays are available in a variety of formats to allow researchers to optimise the density and the number of microarrays on each slide.
These include a single array with 244,000 features and 2-, 4- and 8-array formats containing 105,000, 44,000 and 15,000 features per array, respectively.
"The new microarrays address two major needs. First, by printing multiple arrays on a standard 1"x 3" slide, we allow users to design ever-larger, more powerful gene-expression experiments very cost effectively," said Nick Roelofs, vice president and general manager, Agilent Life Sciences Solutions Unit.
"Second, the dramatic increase in genomic coverage lets researchers use the superior performance of Agilent's SurePrint arrays in a growing number of high-resolution genomic tiling applications."
Over the last decade, DNA microarray technology has evolved to become a powerful tool with which scientists can analyse the expression level of thousands of genes simultaneously.
The Sureprint's 244,000-feature array represent a five-fold increase in density compared with the previous series.
Microarrays are most often used for various types of expression profiling. Scientists in core labs are more likely to use arrays in drug discovery research, high throughput screening, comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) and SNP detection and diagnostics, reflecting their analysis of both DNA and RNA templates as well as the diverse needs of their internal customers.