Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
Core ESP technology

Custom probe arrays for the ESP


DNA probe array technology

  • Integral and control/array reference
  • Variety of detection chemistries possible
    • chemiluminescence
    • fluorescence
    • colorimetry
  • Can immobilize DNA and protein for:
    • DNA probe arrays
    • Protein arrays

Transverse and lateral flow assays are possible

Printing probe arrays

The "ink" of the probe array is made up of a DNA probe, chemically linked to biotin and mixed with the protein, streptdavidin, which binds the whole to the surface of the filter support. The support is a 25-millimeter circle of filter material that fits in the puck, where the analysis takes place.

To print probe arrays, an XYZ translation table positions a syringe which delivers the probe ink—in 125-250 nanoliter drops —to the array support. The setup for printing is shown below at left. Each printed array has a number of different probes immobilized on its surface. Each of those probes targets a specific species or group of species. The organization of a typical probe array is shown at right below.


custom array

Initially researchers were looking to find and identify toxic algae, but eventually their attention turned to detection of invertebrate larvae and marine microbes. The illustration below shows some of the organisms that can were detected on a single probe array from a sample taken by the Monterey (CA) wharf. On this array, the barnacle larvae (upper left) were not detected, but mussel larvae (lower left) made a strong showing.

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Last updated: Feb. 04, 2009