Automated analytical microarrays: a critical review
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- Seidel, M. & Niessner, R. Anal Bioanal Chem (2008) 391: 1521. doi:10.1007/s00216-008-2039-3
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Microarrays provide a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of multiple analytes in a single experiment. The specific affinity reaction of nucleic acids (hybridization) and antibodies towards antigens is the most common bioanalytical method for generating multiplexed quantitative results. Nucleic acid-based analysis is restricted to the detection of cells and viruses. Antibodies are more universal biomolecular receptors that selectively bind small molecules such as pesticides, small toxins, and pharmaceuticals and to biopolymers (e.g. toxins, allergens) and complex biological structures like bacterial cells and viruses. By producing an appropriate antibody, the corresponding antigenic analyte can be detected on a multiplexed immunoanalytical microarray. Food and water analysis along with clinical diagnostics constitute potential application fields for multiplexed analysis. Diverse fluorescence, chemiluminescence, electrochemical, and label-free microarray readout systems have been developed in the last decade. Some of them are constructed as flow-through microarrays by combination with a fluidic system. Microarrays have the potential to become widely accepted as a system for analytical applications, provided that robust and validated results on fully automated platforms are successfully generated. This review gives an overview of the current research on microarrays with the focus on automated systems and quantitative multiplexed applications.