On-Chip Synthesis of Biomolecules (No. 1369)
A simple, single-step biochip platform for synthesis of biomolecules.
Biochip technology is used today in measuring passive probe-target interactions i.e. measurement of the abundance of specific biomolecules). This technology can now be extended to include complex and cascaded activities on the chip. The present immobilization approaches (based on UV photography) have been essentially limited to short single stranded DNA probes and have not been developed for entire genes or other biochemical functions. Furthermore, most biochips are assembled in a multi-step process that requires expertise in surface chemistry in order to obtain reproducibility and robustness. As a result, light-directed immobilization of molecules on biochips is not widespread and is not easily accessible for research and technology development. The present invention enables, in a simple manner, to immobilize different biomolecules anywhere on the chip to submicron resolution through selective exposure of the monolayer to UV light.
This lab-on-a-chip technology (i.e. a technology that enables to perform laboratory operations on a small scale) is based on a newly synthesized molecule termed daisy that combines three parts all-in-one: a tail and head connected by a backbone. Selective exposure of daisy monolayer to UV light through a mask (photolithography) reveals the surface for chemical binding of a variety of biomolecules. Using this technology it is possible to immobilize different biomolecules anywhere on the chip to submicron resolution. By immobilizing whole genes, thus enabling cell-free biosynthesis of proteins, daisy technology takes the lab-on-a-chip concept to the next level. Daisy biochip technology holds a promise in proteomics, diagnostics and therapeutics.