Developing an Efficient and General Strategy for Immobilization of Small Molecules onto Microarrays Using Isocyanate Chemistry

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Mar 16;16(3):378. doi: 10.3390/s16030378.


Small-molecule microarray (SMM) is an effective platform for identifying lead compounds from large collections of small molecules in drug discovery, and efficient immobilization of molecular compounds is a pre-requisite for the success of such a platform. On an isocyanate functionalized surface, we studied the dependence of immobilization efficiency on chemical residues on molecular compounds, terminal residues on isocyanate functionalized surface, lengths of spacer molecules, and post-printing treatment conditions, and we identified a set of optimized conditions that enable us to immobilize small molecules with significantly improved efficiencies, particularly for those molecules with carboxylic acid residues that are known to have low isocyanate reactivity. We fabricated microarrays of 3375 bioactive compounds on isocyanate functionalized glass slides under these optimized conditions and confirmed that immobilization percentage is over 73%.

Keywords: high-throughput screening; label-free optical biosensor; small-molecule microarrays; surface functionalization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Discovery*
  • Glass / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Isocyanates / chemistry*
  • Microarray Analysis*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology


  • Isocyanates
  • Small Molecule Libraries