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Methods Enzymol. 2006;410:3-28.

The affymetrix GeneChip platform: an overview.

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Expression Product Development, AFFY-METRIX, INC., Santa Clara, California, USA.


The intent of this chapter is to provide the reader with a review of GeneChip technology and the complete system it represents, including its versatility, components, and the exciting applications that are enabled by this platform. The following aspects of the technology are reviewed: array design and manufacturing, target preparation, instrumentation, data analysis, and both current and future applications. There are key differentiators between Affymetrix' GeneChip technology and other microarray-based methods. The most distinguishing feature of GeneChip microarrays is that their manufacture is directed by photochemical synthesis. Because of this manufacturing technology, more than a million different probes can be synthesized on an array roughly the size of a thumbnail. These numbers allow the inclusion of multiple probes to interrogate the same target sequence, providing statistical rigor to data interpretation. Over the years the GeneChip platform has proven to be a reliable and robust system, enabling many new discoveries and breakthroughs to be made by the scientific community.

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