Microelectronic array devices and techniques for electric field enhanced DNA hybridization in low-conductance buffers

Christian Gurtner, Eugene Tu, Neema Jamshidi, Robert W. Haigis, Thomas J. Onofrey, Carl F. Edman, Ron Sosnowski, Bruce Wallace, Michael J. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A variety of electronic DNA array devices and techniques have been developed that allow electric field enhanced hybridization to be carried out under special low-conductance conditions. These devices include both planar microelectronic DNA array/chip devices as well as electronic microtiter plate-like devices. Such "active" electronic devices are able to provide controlled electric (electrophoretic) fields that serve as a driving force to move and concentrate nucleic acid molecules (DNA/RNA) to selected microlocation test-sites on the device. In addition to ionic strength, pH, temperature and other agents, the electric field provides another controllable parameter that can affect and enhance DNA hybridization. With regard to the planar microelectronic array devices, special low-conductance buffers were developed in order to maintain rapid transport of DNA molecules and to facilitate hybridization within the constrained low current and voltage ranges for this type of device. With regard to electronic microtiter plate type devices (which do not have the low current/voltage constraints), the use of mixed buffers (low conductance upper chamber/high conductance lower chamber) can be used in a unique fashion to create favorable hybridization conditions in a microzone within the test site location. Both types of devices allow DNA molecules to be rapidly and selectively hybridized at the array test sites under conditions where the DNA in the bulk solution can remain substantially denatured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1550
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • DNA chips
  • DNA hybridization
  • DNA microarrays
  • Electronic microtiter plate devices
  • Microelectronic arrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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