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Published September 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

A robotics platform for automated batch fabrication of high density, microfluidics-based DNA microarrays, with applications to single cell, multiplex assays of secreted proteins


Microfluidics flow-patterning has been utilized for the construction of chip-scale miniaturized DNA and protein barcode arrays. Such arrays have been used for specific clinical and fundamental investigations in which many proteins are assayed from single cells or other small sample sizes. However, flow-patterned arrays are hand-prepared, and so are impractical for broad applications. We describe an integrated robotics/microfluidics platform for the automated preparation of such arrays, and we apply it to the batch fabrication of up to eighteen chips of flow-patterned DNA barcodes. The resulting substrates are comparable in quality with hand-made arrays and exhibit excellent substrate-to-substrate consistency. We demonstrate the utility and reproducibility of robotics-patterned barcodes by utilizing two flow-patterned chips for highly parallel assays of a panel of secreted proteins from single macrophage cells.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Received 11 June 2011; accepted 15 August 2011; published online 16 September 2011. This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (Grant No. 1U54CA151819–01 (JRH PI)), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg via a subcontract from the Institute for Systems Biology, and the Jean Perkins Foundation. We acknowledge Mike Roy for many useful discussions regarding instrument design. K.H. acknowledges support from a Samsung Foundation Fellowship.

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Published - Ahmad2011p16159Rev_Sci_Instrum.pdf


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