Northbrook, Ill.-based Motorola Life Sciences has tossed its hat into the microarray ring. The company's CodeLink™ platform includes arrays, reagent kits, tools, and software, but the core technology is a proprietary three-dimensional polyacrylamide-based matrix, which Motorola acquired from SurModics of Eden Prairie, Minn.

Unlike Santa Clara, Calif.-based Affymetrix, which synthesizes oligonucleotides directly on its biochips using a photolithographic process, Motorola synthesizes its 30-nucleotide oligos offline, tests them by mass spectrometry, deposits them on the array, and then assays them for quality control. The final step in the array production process is the addition of a Flex Chamber™—a disposable hybridization chamber already attached to the slide, which resembles a piece of cellophane with adhesive around the edges. In this case, however, the "cellophane" consists of seven layers of material designed in-house at Motorola. Because the arrays come with the Flex Chamber attached, researchers need not purchase special hybridization chambers; they...

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