DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) microarray technology is evolving as a powerful tool in the biomedical and pharmaceutical exploration. This research is pursuing the development of a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip device for microarray experiments. It is used to monitor the expression of thousands of genes in a single experiment. Current microarray experiments require large sample volumes during preparation and spotting, take a long time, and require high quality robotic systems.
The integrated microfluidic platform being developed facilitates sample manipulation and the production of microarrays on a single chip for high throughput applications. Fluid manipulation is done using EWOD (Electro Wetting on Dielectric) actuation. EWOD allows small sample extraction, transportation, mixing, merging and splitting. After manipulation, samples are transported to dispensing chambers for spotting of the microarrays. These miniature devices can be used for large-scale gene screening, genome response profiling associated with drug treatment or disease states, and analysis of protein DNA interactions.