Since an array can contain tens of thousands of probes, a microarray experiment can accomplish many genetic tests in parallel. Therefore arrays have dramatically accelerated many types of investigation. In standard microarrays, the probes are synthesized and then attached via surface engineering to a solid surface by a covalent bond to a chemical matrix. The solid surface can be glass or a silicon chip, in which case they are colloquially known as an Affy chip when an Affymetrix chip is used. Other microarray platforms, such as Illumina, use microscopic beads, instead of the large solid support. Alternatively, microarrays can be constructed by the direct synthesis of oligonucleotide probes on solid surfaces. DNA arrays are different from other types of microarray only in that they either measure DNA or use DNA as part of its detection system.
DNA microarrays can be used to measure changes in expression levels, to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or to genotype or targeted re-sequencing.
Microarray-based SNP and Transcriptomics Instruments
Illumina HiScan – most adavanced bead-array reader on the market for high-density SNP detection, mRNA-profiling and methylation microarrays.
Illumina BeadXPress – medium density, custom SNP detection platform