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Agilent Launches Next-Generation DNA Microarray Manufacturing Process

Agilent Technologies announced a next-generation DNA microarray manufacturing process that increases feature density more than fourfold in 2006 and potentially greater than tenfold in 2007. This move is part of Agilent's growing push to develop microarray applications that augment traditional gene expression analysis and enable researchers to answer previously intractable biological questions.

The new microarray printing technology, a higher-performance version of Agilent's proprietary ink-jet-based in situ fabrication method, is currently producing single-array microarrays with 95,000 and 185,000 features on standard 1" x 3" glass slides. Agilent is also using the new manufacturing process to print microarrays containing eight arrays per slide. Multiple-array slides containing user-defined content enable scientists to analyze focused gene sets, biological pathways or chromosomal regions at significantly lower cost per array, using a more automated workflow. Agilent's current single-array microarrays have 44,000 features. The company's next-generation microarrays, in single- as well as multiple-array slide formats, will be available in the second quarter of 2006.

Agilent's higher-density microarrays will be available as standard catalog products as well as user-designed custom microarrays for a range of genomic applications including gene expression studies, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), ChIP-on-chip and splice variant analysis. The high-density capability will benefit these as well as future applications by providing a more practical path to whole genome experiments.

In addition to increased feature density, the enhanced ink-jet printing provides improved spot placement accuracy and further optimized synthesis uniformity. This enables features to be synthesized closer together than on the previous generations of microarrays with minimal impact on feature size. The 95,000 and 185,000 feature microarrays are therefore compatible with existing experimental protocols without the need for Agilent customers to make further capital investment in a new scanner.

Source: Agilent Technologies

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