Microarray technology has revolutionized the field of genomics and proteomics. Today, this groundbreaking technique is used across a wide range of research studies to gain valuable insight into two of the most fundamental biological components: DNA and protein. Microarrays are able to analyze very large samples and concentrations of DNA, protein, and oligonucleotides and identify markers of disease and mutation. As microarray technology continues to evolve and advance, the price of the procedure will lower and the usage will increase. Recent advancements in the technology have made it possible for researchers to create a custom microarray of specific samples.
Microarray Technology: How It Works
An array is an ordered arrangement of a large quantity of samples; the system uses a matching technique where unknown samples are matched with known counterparts. Researchers will use different biological matching mechanisms for DNA and protein experiments. In DNA experiments, scientists leverage the natural base-pairing mechanism and in protein experiments they use antibodies. The samples with known identity are applied on a medium, usually a glass slide, and are used to identify their unknown counterparts.
Applications and Uses
Microarray technology has a broad spectrum of uses and applications. The technology’s origins in research and disease diagnosis have evolved to span over many biological fields. Researchers use microarrays to understand how toxins affect the cellular environment, identify genes and mutations, and develop pharmaceuticals. This technology is also starting to be used for disease prevention; people have their genes analyzed in order to develop lifestyle choices.
Microarray technology has provided an essential tool for studying the pressing diseases facing society. Using this groundbreaking technology scientists and researchers are able to genotype a large amount of different loci and study post-translational modifications in proteins. As the technology continues to advance, researchers will be able to gain insight into the complexity of protein and DNA function.