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One way to best use gene sequence information is to measure messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiles. Cells regulate the expression of their genes in response to changes in their environment. Specific patterns of gene expression, as measured by levels of mRNA production, can provide significant insights into normal tissue development, biological responses, and disease pathogenesis. Gene expression profiling plays a role in streamlining several critical steps in modern pharmaceutical development: new target gene identification, lead drug identification and optimization, drug toxiclity profiling, and monitoring clinical trials.


There are many ways to measure mRNA levels. Classical molecular biology protocols, such as Northern blot, in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, andribonuclease protection assays (RPA), to name a few, while proven extremely valuable at bench level, suffer from two problems: low throughput and difficulty in quantification. As more and more human genome sequence information becomes available, it is increasingly important to have advanced technologies to analyze genes expression profiles in a high throughput fashion. Thus the recently developed DNA array technology offers great benefits in this endeavor.


With state-of-the-art DNA array (DNA chip) technology, scientists are able to immobilize from thousands and to tens of thousands of gene a very small surface area. When hybridized with samples of interest, scientists are able to detect and measure expression levels of these thousands of genes with high resolution. Compared to classical molecular biology protocols for gene expression analysis, DNA microarray technology promises significant advantages in high efficiency, parallel analysis and quantification.




Microarray technology has empowered researchers to approach gene expression analysis on a genomic scale. The ability to study changes in the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously has made it possible to attain a global view of a cell's transcriptional state and to associate genes with predictive functions or specific physiological conditions. Proving to be an invaluable tool for applications such as SNP mapping, genotyping, and differential gene expression the field of functional genomics is developing at a rapid pace and placing new demands on microarray technology.


Over the years, Digilab became the market leader in microarray and plate printing applications. As researchers in both independent labs and core facilities continue to approach the developing field of genomics with custom microarray production, the need for microarrayer instruments that maximize flexibility and precision without compromising speed and cost has become critical. In order to meet the demands for custom microarraying, Digilab offers an array of choices for your needs.

Click here for a more detailed discussion on plate arraying.

Another key process in microarray is array hybridization. Whether you need to hybridize one or up to 96 microarrays at a time, Digilab has a choice for you. Digilab HybStation can process up to 12 slides and can be daisy-chained to increase throughput. For smaller scale hybridizations, try Digilab Hyb4. This smaller unit has 4 slide capacity and an on-board heat block to pre-heat probes.