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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2011 Feb;8(1):61-79. doi: 10.1586/epr.10.99.

Protein microarrays and novel detection platforms.

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Wadhwani Research Center for Biosciences and Bioengineering, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India.


The field of proteomics has undergone rapid advancements over the last decade and protein microarrays have emerged as a promising technological platform for the challenging task of studying complex proteomes. This gel-free approach has found an increasing number of applications due to its ability to rapidly and efficiently study thousands of proteins simultaneously. Different protein microarrays, including capture arrays, reverse-phase arrays, tissue microarrays, lectin microarrays and cell-free expression microarrays, have emerged, which have demonstrated numerous applications for proteomics studies including biomarker discovery, protein interaction studies, enzyme-substrate profiling, immunological profiling and vaccine development, among many others. The need to detect extremely low-abundance proteins in complex mixtures has provided motivation for the development of sensitive, real-time and multiplexed detection platforms. Conventional label-based approaches like fluorescence, chemiluminescence and use of radioactive isotopes have witnessed substantial advancements, with techniques like quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, dye-doped nanoparticles and several bead-based methods now being employed for protein microarray studies. In order to overcome the limitations posed by label-based technologies, several label-free approaches like surface plasmon resonance, carbon nanotubes and nanowires, and microcantilevers, among others, have also advanced in recent years, and these methods detect the query molecule itself. The scope of this article is to outline the protein microarray techniques that are currently being used for analytical and function-based proteomics and to provide a detailed analysis of the key technological advances and applications of various detection systems that are commonly used with microarrays.

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