The SPOT-synthesis technique. Synthetic peptide arrays on membrane supports--principles and applications

J Immunol Methods. 2002 Sep 1;267(1):13-26. doi: 10.1016/s0022-1759(02)00137-0.


Presented first in 1990 at the 21st European Peptide Symposium in Barcelona, Spain [Frank, R., Güler, S., Krause, S., Lindenmaier, W., 1991. Facile and rapid 'spot synthesis' of large numbers of peptides on membrane sheets. In: Giralt, E., Andreu, D. (Eds.) Peptides 1990, Proc. 21st Eur. Peptide Symp. ESCOM, Leiden, p. 151.], the SPOT-synthesis method opened up countless opportunities to synthesise and subsequently screen large numbers of synthetic peptides as well as other organic compounds arrayed on a planar cellulose support [Tetrahedron 48 (1992) 9217]. Already in 1991, a commercial kit for manual SPOT-synthesis became available through Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB, UK), and in 1993, a semi-automated SPOT-synthesiser, the ASP222, was launched by ABIMED Analysen-Technik, Germany. Both made the technique available to many research laboratories, even those not experienced in or equipped for chemistry. Although SPOT-synthesis is not as impressively miniaturised as, e.g. the Affymax photolithographic technique [Science 251 (1991) 767], it fulfils similar demands with the advantage of a reliable and easy experimental procedure, inexpensive equipment needs and a highly flexible array and library formatting. The method permits rapid and highly parallel synthesis of huge numbers of peptides and peptide mixtures (pools) including a large variety of unnatural building blocks, as well as a growing range of other organic compounds. Further advantages are related to the easy adaptability to a wide range of assay and screening methods such as binding, enzymatic and cellular assays, which allow in situ screening of chemical libraries due to the special properties of the membrane supports. Therefore, peptide arrays prepared by the SPOT-technique became quite popular tools for studying numerous aspects of molecular recognition, particularly in the field of molecular immunology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques*
  • Epitope Mapping / instrumentation
  • Epitope Mapping / methods*
  • Peptide Biosynthesis / immunology*
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology


  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides