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Anal Chem. 2012 Jun 5;84(11):4776-83. doi: 10.1021/ac3003177. Epub 2012 May 23.

Microarray-to-microarray transfer of reagents by snapping of two chips for cross-reactivity-free multiplex immunoassays.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, McGill University, Montréal, QC, H3A 1A4, Canada.


Whereas microarray and microfluidic technologies have progressed on many fronts, servicing microchips with minute amounts of reagents still constitutes an important challenge for many applications. Recently, chip-to-chip reagent transfer methods were introduced that simplify the delivery of reagents but required manual, visual alignment, custom-built microwells, and only showed the reaction of a single sample with multiple chemicals. Here, we present the snap chip, which uses common glass slides for transfer, back-side alignment for achieving precise alignment in spite of mirroring, and a snap-apparatus for facile transfer of arrays of chemicals at once by snapping the two slides together. We recently established that cross-reactivity was a significant problem in multiplex assays both theoretically and experimentally and found that it can be eliminated by avoiding mixing, but which necessitates delivering each detection antibody to a single spot with the cognate capture antibody. Using the snap chip, multiplexed sandwich immunoassays without mixing were performed: a slide with multiple arrays of 10 different capture antibodies was incubated with a sample, and then all detection antibodies transferred at once by snapping, each to the single cognate spot. All binding curves were established and limits of detection in the pg/mL range were obtained. Snap chips were stored up to 3 months prior to usage. The snap chip, by dissociating microarray production, which requires expensive equipment, from assay execution, which can be achieved using a hand-held alignment apparatus, will allow for multiplex reactions to be performed using a user-friendly kit. This new liquid handling format can be easily adapted to other applications that require transfer of minute amounts of different reagents in parallel.

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