Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Assay Miniaturization Benefits

Assay miniaturization lower costs, increase sensitivity & kinetics, boost throughput and enhance precision.  Get ahead of the game by doing more faster and better.
From gene expression, to genotyping, to serum based immunoassays, to cell biology studies, the pressure is on for life scientists and health care practitioners to get more data with less material and be as non-invasive to patients as possible.  Our customers are challenging us to provide them highly multiplexed genomic and proteomic data from the smallest of sample sizes using smaller reaction areas with less material.  By leveraging our patented microarray manufacturing technology, Patent 6,101,946, our nanoscale microarray manufacturing method rapidly and easily creates nanoliter droplets of biomolecules from a virtually unlimited scientific bio repository of molecules on an unlimited number of substrate types delivering the benefits of miniaturization, multiplexing and parallelism to the life science and diagnostic industries.
With Arrayit miniaturized assays, we decrease sample volume by an average of 10,000 fold which in turn, lowers reagent costs, increases sensitivity, speeds reaction kinetics, increase throughput and enables quantitation. 

Small sample volume requirements make testing less invasive for the patient.  Additionally, many types of biological samples are only available in small quantities and can only be analyzed on our platform.  For example, traditional ELISA and bead based immunoassay platforms require 50 to 100 µL of sample, and that same microarray can be run on our platform with 1 ul.  This can be very important in pediatric applications where the amounts of blood that can be collected is very limited.  Doctors and researchers can be deprived of critical data they need when sample volumes they need for testing simply are not available.  Arrayit Corporation can solve these problems with our highly miniaturized and multiplexed microarray based assays.  We can successfully analyze many protein biomarkers within rare and hard-to-collect samples, such as rodent serum and urine, spinal fluid, human tumor extracts, tears and separated dried blood spots (see our blood card collection technology).  As important as that is, reaction volumes are so low, the cost of detection reagents and reaction buffers are run at substantially lower cost compared to ELISA and bead based assays.
Even when copious sample volumes are available, amounts of protein in solution can often fall below common limits of detection. For example IgE antibodies in blood are at much lower in concentration in the same amount of serum than IgG.  With microarray the concentrations are always in our favor.  The biomarkers we spot onto the microarray are so small, that they can pull down out of a reaction in solution very low amounts of protein, DNA, RNA and other biomolecules and still produce a strong signal.  Additionally, it is not uncommon for the biomolecule in solution to be at a higher concentration than the spots on the microarray, thus producing excellent reaction kinetics and sensitivity.  Reaction times that often take overnight can be accomplished in an hour or even a few minutes depending on the concentrations.
Miniaturization in combination with multiplexing and parallelism dramatically increases throughput. We can print dozens, hundreds and in some cases thousands of highly uniform nanoliter volume spots in the area occupied by just one spot on a conventional ELISA.  WE typically match the pattern of 96 microarrays in the area of a typical ELISA plate to be compatible with all existing ELISA processing instrumentation. Additionally we can make microarrays on microfluidic devices, test trips, membranes, plates and various biochips.
We have all the required products and services to enable virtually any assay type.  All our instruments are bench top systems that include easy to use software.  We enable microarrays of any biomolecule and on all substrates like glass slides, plastic, gold and silicon.  Please visit us at www.arrayit.com and contact me at todd@arrayit.com for more information.
Arrayit's microarray platform is highly flexible and powerful suite of equipment, tools, kits and reagents for miniaturizing and multiplexing existing assays such as those for gene expression, genotyping, immunoassays and others.  Microarray immunoassay test development requires a little work up front, but it's fun to do. Here is a list of questions to help guide the process of experimental design.  You don't have to answer all these questions to have a legitimate project, questions are not applicable to all projects.  

· How will the microarray assay be used and what are the goals of the experiments or tests?
· What is the specific biomolecule or analyte that you want to measure?
· Have ELISA assays been run with the sample types?
· What capture analytes are we printing into a microarray?
· What are the characteristics of the capture analytes for the microarray?
o Antigen, antibody, cell lysate, peptide...other?
o If antibodies, do you have a secondary antibody for each capture antibody?
o Amount of purified capture analyte available?
o If the analytes are peptides do you have all the amino acid sequences?
o Are there any general toxicity or safety issues associated with the handling or use of the analyte?
o Storage buffer (including pH)?
o Soluble in water or is another buffer required?
o Storage conditions?
o If analyte is lyophilized, where any stabilizers used?
· What is the origin of the sample to be tested...blood, serum, plasma, water, tissue culture supernatants, etc.)?
· Do the samples to be tested on the microarray have to be pre-treated, such as extractions or centrifugations? If yes, what are they?
· What is the expected outcome of the immunoassay you want to develop?
· Are we developing an assay that will require routine testing?
o How many samples will be tested overall?
o How many samples do you want to test for at one time?
o Do you require automation, or is manual processing OK?
o Did you want to outsource the testing or do parts or all of it?
· Do you have a microarray scanner or other instrument for reading the test?
· Are you planning fluorescent, colorimetric, chemiluminescent, SPR or other detection platform?
· Does your test require FDA approval (or will it in the future)?
· Is there anything else important you think we should know?

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