Moxtek, a nano-photonics
company expertise is in high-volume manufacturing of wire-grid polarizers and
other nano-array structures, today announced that it has reached a collaboration
agreement with Philips Research to develop a new wire grid microarray chip (WGM)
that has been designed to offer ultra-high surface specificity and excellent
suppression of background signals. The WGM is based on a wire grid pattern on
a glass substrate.
The WGM technology provides the potential for rapid quantitative detection
with improved accuracy, of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.
In addition, the technology promises to significantly simplify the work flow
and improve the reproducibility for such tests by removing the washing step
and performing hybridization and detection in parallel. These strengths match
with the needs for advanced microarray technology in life sciences research.
Rapid molecular detection for life sciences research is a fast-growing market,
and could revolutionize healthcare research.
The WGM is based on illumination of a grid of metal nanowires with polarized
excitation light and detecting the fluorescence generated by fluorescently labeled
target molecules bound to capture probes on the substrate between the metal
nanowires. The detection volume is limited to ~20 nm above the surface, and
can be controlled via the dimensions of the nanowires and the excitation wavelength.
The surface specific detection of the WGM provides a significant reduction in
microarray workflow by making redundant the chip washing step; moreover, it
has been shown to allow monitoring the binding of bio-molecules to the substrate
Control of the polarization state enables using the wire grid microarray concept
for both highly surface specific measurements and “conventional”
measurements where the measurement volume is determined by the optical set-up
rather than the geometry of the wire grid. This versatile technique has been
designed to be compatible with commercial optical microarray readers currently
available on the market.