Chaotic mixer improves microarray hybridization

Anal Biochem. 2004 Feb 15;325(2):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2003.10.032.


Hybridization is an important aspect of microarray experimental design which influences array signal levels and the repeatability of data within an array and across different arrays. Current methods typically require 24h and use target inefficiently. In these studies, we compare hybridization signals obtained in conventional static hybridization, which depends on diffusional target delivery, with signals obtained in a dynamic hybridization chamber, which employs a fluid mixer based on chaotic advection theory to deliver targets across a conventional glass slide array. Microarrays were printed with a pattern of 102 identical probe spots containing a 65-mer oligonucleotide capture probe. Hybridization of a 725-bp fluorescently labeled target was used to measure average target hybridization levels, local signal-to-noise ratios, and array hybridization uniformity. Dynamic hybridization for 1h with 1 or 10ng of target DNA increased hybridization signal intensities approximately threefold over a 24-h static hybridization. Similarly, a 10- or 60-min dynamic hybridization of 10ng of target DNA increased hybridization signal intensities fourfold over a 24h static hybridization. In time course studies, static hybridization reached a maximum within 8 to 12h using either 1 or 10ng of target. In time course studies using the dynamic hybridization chamber, hybridization using 1ng of target increased to a maximum at 4h and that using 10ng of target did not vary over the time points tested. In comparison to static hybridization, dynamic hybridization reduced the signal-to-noise ratios threefold and reduced spot-to-spot variation twofold. Therefore, we conclude that dynamic hybridization based on a chaotic mixer design improves both the speed of hybridization and the maximum level of hybridization while increasing signal-to-noise ratios and reducing spot-to-spot variation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA Probes
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA