Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Microarray Pin Update

Arrayit microarray printing pins, 946 and Stealth style pins work in the same printheads. 946 and Stealth style microarray spotting pins are identical except for the collar on the pin. The 946 style pin collar is lighter and has a caged structure at the top of the pin to make it easier to get in and out of the printhead. As end users will tell you, our microarray pins already last a very long time, but the lighter collar on the 946 style pin further reduces the stress on the end of the pins during microarray manufacturing. The printhead, or microarray pin holder for the robot, is also something we have upgraded. The latest design on printheads fall under the name"Professional". The big change here is that the previous hole on the Stealth style printheads was a circular hole, basically a cylinder that the pin shaft would ride in. The professional style printhead has a patterned hole for the shaft of the pin, where the shaft can only make contact with specific points along the guide hole, not everywhere along the shaft. The friction for the pin movement on the microarray robot is reduced by 66%, making pin sticking in the "up" position in the holder virtually impossible if the parts are clean. Microarray spot block (subgrid) alignment is also improved with the new printhead, making quantification of microarrays easier.