, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 131-137

A Highly Parallel Nanoliter Dispenser for Microarray Fabrication

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We report about the correlation between satellite free droplet release and liquid viscosity in a highly parallel, pressure driven nanoliter dispenser. In extensive studies, we found that for liquids of different viscosities the duration of the pressure pulse is the predominant effect compared to pressure amplitude. This result is of essential importance when actuation parameters have to be adopted for different media like oligonucleotide, DNA or protein solutions as it is the case for the non-contact high throughput fabrication of microarrays (Ducree et al., 2000). Experiments with oligonucleotides as well as with different proteins showed ascertained carry-over and cross-contamination free printing of DNA and protein microarrays. With it a prime critical point of microarray production is solved, leading to high quality whilst high throughput microarray fabrication. For oligonucleotides printing, we found CVs to be better than 1% within one single dispensing channel and 1.5% within all 24 channels of a 24 channel printhead for each used printing buffer. By optimizing the protein printing buffer the CVs for protein printing were reduced to about 1% within all 24 channels. As a serious practical application test oligonucleotides microarrays were produced using our nanoliter dispenser system. With it a full DNA hybridization experiment was performed. Clear positive signals one hand and no signals in the negative controls on the other hand showed that our system is suited for microarray production.