Chemical microarrays

Chemical microarray

A chemical microarray is a modified microscopic slide on which very small amounts of different molecules have been captured in an ordered manner. This way several thousands or even tens of thousands of molecules can be addressed in parallel in an identifiable manner.

A chemical microarray is an affinity assay

A microarray experiment is actually a large number of parallel affinity assays: Compounds immobilized on the microarray are in a small volume exposed to the labelled targets that have to be tested. The immobilized compounds will bind to those labelled molecules (proteins) from the sample with which it interacts and the immobilized molecule/labeled target pairs are then detected by a microarray scanner with high sensitivity.


In pharmaceutical research chemical microarray can be used to identify interacting hit/target combinations. The advantage of this assay is its universality: an affinity assay needs no, or a lot less optimisation than conventional drug-assays. Chemical microarrays can also be used when no suitable assay exists or even when a lack of information about a target prevents the development of a suitable assay.

Traditional chemical microarrays

Chemical microarrays with small compounds have proven to be robust and scalable for the discovery of drug/protein interactions. One limitation of the technology has been the need for the incorporation of a tag or linker in the molecules.

Avi-ChemixTM microarrays

Avicor has circumvented this need through the combination of several different types of chemistry to attach small molecules covalently onto glass microscope slides.