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Market profile: slide hybridization systems.

Slide hybridization systems are a significant segment of the expansive microarray research market. Microarray studies require hybridization, the binding of a nucleotide solution (target) with designated gene-specific sequences, such as DNA, cDNA or oligos, on a microarray slide (probe). In preparation the target is labeled with tags and mixed with a microarray slide in a designated chamber, or a specifically sealed hybridization area, and incubated. The heat from incubation induces the binding of the target and probe.

The popularity of DNA research in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries has fueled growth in the slide hybridization market. Manual microarray hybridization remains a viable segment, however tedious washing protocols and inconsistent results has led to a demand for automated systems that clean and rinse the slides, hybridize a variety of samples in one run and produce more uniform results. The only tasks that remain for the user are the target preparation and application.

Despite the microarray market's rapid expansion, the development and sale of automated slide hybridization systems re mains a small segment with few companies developing and selling systems. The most basic systems, like Genomic Solutions' GeneMachine Hybstation, allow the user to conduct six different hybridizations on 12 slides per each run, while automating washing and temperature control. The wide range of temperatures on systems, generally 0[degrees]C99[degrees]C, allow the user to conduct more robust hybridization procedures such as the denaturalizing or annealing of DNA strands.

Systems are typically designed to hybridize the standard testing area of 0.70 in. x 0.78 in. of a universal 1 in. x 3 in. slide. An advanced feature of PerkinElmer's HybArray 12 is the option to increase the hybridization area to 0.82 in. x 2.6 in. on each slide. Similiar to the Hybstation, the Hybarray can run up to six different hybridization protocols on 12 slides in just one testing session.

The most advanced systems, such as GE Healthcare's SlidePro, offer the same testing and specification features, but do so on a larger scale. The SlidePro has six chambers, allowing 30 microarray slides to be tested at one time on one module. For optimal testing the user can daisy chain up to five modules together to create one high-throughput system, run through one software program attached to the base module

Although slide hybridization systems make up a small segment of the hybridization market, technological advances such as in situ monitoring of slides on high-end systems like Ventana's Discovery, will keep the demand for slide hybridization systems strong. Other companies offering systems include Tecan and BioMicro Systems.

Slide Hybridization Systems at a Glance:

Leading Suppliers

* PerkinElmer

* Genomic Solutions

* GE Healthcare

Largest Markets

* Pharmaceutical

* Biotechnology

* Academia/Government

Instrument Cost

* $30,000-$65,000
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 31, 2005
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