Reading the fluorescent signals on microarrays that give a glimpse into cellular gene expression is typically the job of laser scanners. This technology works well, but lasers can be very cumbersome to upgrade and maintain. The arrayWoRx Microarray Scanner, a new type of scanner from Applied Precision Inc. of Issaquah, Wash., uses white light instead of lasers to illuminate microarrays.

The arrayWoRx system can excite any standard fluorescent probe, and changing dyes is as easy as using a different filter. Multiple wavelengths between 330 and 700 nm (excitation) and 300 and 800 nm (emission) can be selected, enabling detection of three or four different dyes, not just the standard cyanines (Cy3 or Cy5). The fluorescence is then read into a CCD camera, which has a fourfold higher detection efficiency than photomultiplier tubes used in laser scanners. This efficiency results in significantly higher signal-to-noise ratios than those obtained with laser scanners....

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