Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New fabrication process for microarray chips for clinical diagnostics

05.10.2011
At this year’s Biotechnica from October 11 to 13, 2011 in Hannover, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating a laser-based bench-top system for fabricating protein microarray chips (Hall 9, Booth D10).

These arrays can be used in clinical diagnostics to identify tumor markers in blood samples, and they are also capable of detecting pathogens responsible for infectious diseases. Thanks to the new resource-saving production process, complex analyses can be carried out on even the tiniest amounts of biopsy material.


Fig. 1: Laser-based bench-top system protoprinter.
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen.


Fig. 2: PDMS - Transfer with the protoprinter.
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen.

Microarray chips for use as a diagnostics tool are produced by depositing small amounts of biopsy material, taken for instance from a patient’s tumor cells, onto a substrate. It is often only possible to gather a tiny amount of the relevant cell material, and this limits the extent of testing that can be carried out. But if a patient is to receive targeted treatment, then comprehensive testing is essential. That is why it is important to optimize preparation of the biopsy specimens by ensuring they are used to make as many microarray chips as possible. Microarrays are usually produced using microdispensing systems, which function in a similar way to an ink-jet printer. The major drawback of these systems is that the printer head quickly becomes obstructed by many proteins, such as antibodies, that are crucial to the analysis. The process has to be halted and the printer head either cleaned or replaced – making it tremendously time-consuming and costly for users.

Printing without a printer head: reliable, precise and fast

As part of the ProtoPrint INNONET project, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), and in collaboration with GeSiM Gesellschaft für Silizium-Mikrosysteme mbH, Fraunhofer ILT has developed a laser-based bench-top system for the fabrication of protein microarray chips. Unlike conventional printer technology, this system is able to deliver microscopic amounts of all kinds of proteins directly onto the substrate material. With the aid of this so-called »protoprinter«, Dominik Riester and his team have succeeded in using proteins to produce a functioning test system for cell analysis.

This is how the printing process works: The microarray is situated beneath a glass slide which has the biopsy material on its underside along with an intermediate titanium absorber layer. A pulsed laser beam is focused on the absorber layer, evaporating the titanium, and the resulting forwards impulse transfers the biopsy material onto the microarray. This laser-based process has no need of a printer head and so it can transfer all the relevant proteins. The absence of a printer head also means there is none of the associated sample wastage caused, for example, by feeder lines. This dramatically reduces the amount of biopsy material required to carry out the analysis. What is more, the protoprinter can produce spot sizes of 10 µm to 300 µm – which means up to 500,000 protein spots can fit onto a surface the size of a thumbnail, allowing diagnosis to be performed with a minimum of material. Until now it has not been possible to deposit sample material onto a substrate with such precision and efficiency and in such small amounts. »The protoprinter is reliable and it saves both resources and time. That’s what makes it more cost-effective to use than a microdispensing system,« says Riester.

What you see is what you print

The design of the protoprinter is currently being refined to make it capable of producing artificial hematopoietic stem cell niches. In this, the Aachen-based researchers are focusing in particular on integrating an automated camera-assisted recognition process. Its job is to enable the targeted transfer of cells and other biomaterials – so providing optimal control of the printing process.

During the Fraunhofer press tour at Biotechnica, our experts will be presenting the protoprinter as well as other exhibits relating to the topic of BioRap artificial vessels. Those wishing to participate are invited to meet at 3.30 pm on October 11, 2011, at the joint Fraunhofer Booth D10 in Hall 9.

Contacts at Fraunhofer ILT
Our experts will be pleased to assist if you have any questions:
Dominik Riester
Biotechnology and Laser Therapy
Phone +49 241 8906-529
dominik.riester@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Dr. Martin Wehner
Biotechnology and Laser Therapy
Phone +49 241 8906-202
martin.wehner@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstrasse 15
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8906-0
Fax +49 241 8906-121

Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer ILT
Further information:
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht High Resolution Laser Structuring of Thin Films at LOPEC 2017
21.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Open ecosystem for smart assistance systems
20.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>