Microarrays are used for a wide variety of applications such as large-scale gene expression studies, re-sequencing and mutational analysis, promoter analysis, comparative genomic hybridizations, and detecting protein–protein or protein-chemical interactions.
The Bauer Core is equipped for making custom (“homemade”) nucleic acid or protein microarrays using different spotting and printing technologies. Harvard researchers design and fabricate their own custom microarrays after participating in hands-on training sessions on the instrumentation. The core also offers commercial platforms, such as Affymetrix GeneChips® and Agilent Microarrays.
The Bauer Core has a dedicated laboratory staff to train scientists on the instruments, to provide technical expertise, and to maintain the equipment. We help researchers throughout the process from designing informative experiments to performing sophisticated data analysis.
Choosing a platform
The advantage of homemade microarrays over commercial arrays is the great degree of flexibility in the choice of arrayed elements, allowing for the preparation of customized arrays for specific investigations. Spotting clones from unsequenced libraries makes a great tool for new gene discovery. This flexibility, together with their comparatively low cost, have made homemade microarrays the most frequently used platform in academic institutions. However, creating and optimizing a homemade array is time consuming, and is only cost-effective when large numbers of arrays are needed. Commercially available arrays are a good choice when a smaller number of arrays are needed or when the researcher cannot devote the time to troubleshooting a homemade array.