Hiroshi Aoki, the Measurement Technology Group, the Research Institute for Environmental Management Technology of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), developed an array spotter capable of dispensing an infinitesimal amount of liquid sample and of changing freely the intervals between the capillaries that serve as dispensing outlets.
In recent years, technologies for comprehensive analysis of a large number of biologically relevant materials, such as the mass spectrometry and DNA microarrays, have increasingly been used. Further, technology has also been developed for pre-treatment of patients' samples for comprehensive analysis by using the above mentioned analytical equipment. However, with regard to the present technology introducing a pre-treated liquid sample into the equipment, i.e. a "linkage technology", the rapidity is insufficient, handling of a small amount of liquid sample is difficult, and the dispensing precision is low. Therefore, the overall performance of the comprehensive analysis has substantially been spoiled.
The researcher has developed an array spotter that can rapidly dispense nanoliter-level liquid samples, provided with a dispensing head bearing eight capillaries as dispensing outlets with adjustable capillary intervals. Thus, this is expected to help realize a more rapid and comprehensive analysis/diagnosis of a wider range of specimens based on DNA microarray or soft ionization mass spectrometry in fields of environment, biotechnology, and medical care.
A part of the results will be exhibited as "Highly Integrated Spotting Device for High-Throughput Analysis of an Infinitesimal Amount of Sample" at the AIST Open Lab held at the AIST Tsukuba on October 20 and 21, 2008.