The Chipping News

Recent months have seen a surge of activity in the field of protein microarrays. No wonder: Gene expression-profiling is faster and more powerful thanks to improvements in DNA microarray technology. Now researchers want to apply these benefits to boost the speed of proteomics research. But developing these tools is not easy, as protein arrays present technical challenges not faced by DNA microarray manufacturers. "You can attach any two pieces of DNA the same way and expect [them] to behave the

Aileen Constans
Apr 28, 2002
Recent months have seen a surge of activity in the field of protein microarrays. No wonder: Gene expression-profiling is faster and more powerful thanks to improvements in DNA microarray technology. Now researchers want to apply these benefits to boost the speed of proteomics research.

But developing these tools is not easy, as protein arrays present technical challenges not faced by DNA microarray manufacturers. "You can attach any two pieces of DNA the same way and expect [them] to behave the same way," explains Nick Naclerio, chief business officer of Zyomyx (www.zyomyx.com), a Hayward, Calif.-based company offering protein arrays and microfluidics-based chip production. But proteins are heterogeneous, he adds, thus making it difficult to develop methods to attach them to biochips and have them remain functional. Proteins are also more difficult to synthesize than DNA and are more likely to lose structural or functional properties in different environments...

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