Numerous miniaturized DNA microarray, DNA chip, Lab on a Chip and biosensor devices
have been developed and commercialized. Such devices are improving theway many important
genomic and proteomic analyses are performed in both research and clinical diagnostic
laboratories. The development of these technologies was enabled by a synergistic combination
of disciplines that include microfabrication, microfluidics, MEMS, organic chemistry
and molecular biology. Some of these newdevices and technologies utilize sophisticated microfabrication
processes developed by the semiconductor industry. Microarrays with large
numbers of test sites have been developed which employ photolithography combinatorial
synthesis techniques or ink jet type printing deposition methods to produce high-density
DNA microarrays. Other microarray technologies have incorporated microelectrodes to
produce electric fields which are able to affect the transport and hybridization of DNA
molecules on the surface of the device. As remarkable as this generation of devices and
technological appears, the advent of new nanoscience and nanofabrication techniques will
lead to even further miniaturization, higher integration and another generation of devices
with higher performance properties. Thus, in some sense these devices and systems will
follow a similar evolution as did microelectronics in going from 8 bit, to 16 bit to 32 bit
technology. Where feature sizes for integrated components of microelectronic devices is
now well into the submicron scale, nanoscale biodevices will soon follow. Likewise, the potential
applications for this newgeneration of micro/nanoarray, lab on a chip and nanosensor
devices is also broadening into areas of whole genome sequencing, biowarfare agent detection,
and remote environmental sensing and monitoring. Today the possibility of making
highly sophisticated smart micro/nano scale in-vivo diagnostic and therapeutic delivery
devices is being seriously considered.
Contributions reporting on fundamental and applied investigations of the material science, biochemistry, and physics of biomedical microdevices with applications to Genomics and Proteomics. Topics include gene expression profiling utilizing microarray technology; imaging and sensing for gene detection and use in DNA analysis; and coverage of advanced microfluidic devices and the Humane Genome Project.
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