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Biotechniques. 2000 Nov;29(5):1042-6, 1048-55.

Fundamentals of DNA hybridization arrays for gene expression analysis.

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  • 1Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


DNA hybridization arrays [also known as macroarrays, microarrays and/or high-density oligonucleotide arrays (Gene Chips)] bring gene expression analysis to a genomic scale by permitting investigators to simultaneously examine changes in the expression of literally thousands of genes. For hybridization arrays, the general approach is to immobilize gene-specific sequences (probes) on a solid state matrix (nylon membranes, glass microscope slides, silicon/ceramic chips). These sequences are then queried with labeled copies of nucleic acids from biological samples (targets). The underlying theory is that the greater the expression of a gene, the greater the amount of labeled target, and hence, the greater output signal. In spite of the simplicity of the experimental design, there are at least four different platforms and several different approaches to processing and labeling the biological samples. Moreover, investigators must also determine whether they will utilize commercially available arrays or generate their own. This review will cover the status of the hybridization array field with an eye toward underlying principles and available technologies. Future developments and technological trends will also be evaluated.

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