Chip Technology in Analytical Chemistry

Focal Point: Environmental Analytical Chemistry : ILMAC Congress: October 13, 1999


  • Markus Ehra
  • Gerhard M. Kresbach



Analytical chemistry, Chip technology, Ilmac, Microarrays


The promises of chip technology in analytical chemistry are attractive: nanoliter-size sample volumes, low reagent consumption, high degree of multiplexing, short analysis times, ultra-low detection limits, ease in portability of process and result. It is predictable that chip technology will result in a significant cut of costs per information unit obtained whilst at the same time will improve the quality and validity of data obtained.A new era of massive parallel information generation will pave the way to novel, much more efficient approaches in research and development. Chip-based technologies will expedite the identification and development of drug candidates and be the tools for more precise identification, monitoring, and treatment of both gene-based and infectious diseases. This is made possible, on one hand, by the massively parallel detection of a multitude of biological markers and genetic predisposition parameters so far inaccessible to analysis systems and, on the other hand, by making decisions based on a much broader basis of pharmacologically and clinically significant parameters.Research approaches for chip-based analytical systems started about ten years ago and are focused on two main streams: chips for fluidic handling and separations and chips for detection of analytes. On the detection side, products are already on the market, e.g. genechips enabling information to be obtained on the presence of genetic variations and genetic defects based on the binding of DNA to over 50 000 different oligonucleotide probes immobilized on one chip. On the fluidic and separation side several companies have developed systems that are close to commercialization.The workshop gave a broad overview covering the current technical status of chip-based analytical systems, key applications in clinical research, in drug metabolism, and in the field of infectious diseases and included a critical discussion about current limitations as well as the future potential and value of bioinformatics. The outline of chip-based combinatorial chemistry approaches and novel high density enzymatic assays showed that 'classical' chip technology is already expanding to new fields of applications. Abstracts by the authors are given below.






ILMAC 99: Retrospective/ILMAC Congress

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