CUED Publications database

Microfabrication and application of reservoir pins for liquid transfer in biotechnology

Pearson, J and Moore, DF and Milne, WI and Taylor, AJW and Elmes, SA and Davies, M (2001) Microfabrication and application of reservoir pins for liquid transfer in biotechnology. Proceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, 4407. pp. 281-294. ISSN 0277-786X

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Microarraying involves laying down genetic elements onto a solid substrate for DNA analysis on a massively parallel scale. Microarrays are prepared using a pin-based robotic platform to transfer liquid samples from microtitre plates to an array pattern of dots of different liquids on the surface of glass slides where they dry to form spots diameter < 200 μm. This paper presents the design, materials selection, micromachining technology and performance of reservoir pins for microarraying. A conical pin is produced by (i) conventional machining of stainless steel or wet etching of tungsten wire, followed by (ii) micromachining with a focused laser to produce a microreservoir and a capillary channel structure leading from the tip. The pin has a flat end diameter < 100 μm from which a 500 μm long capillary channel < 15 μm wide leads up the pin to a reservoir. Scanning electron micrographs of the metal surface show roughness on the scale of 10 μm, but the pins nevertheless give consistent and reproducible spotting performance. The pin capacity is 80 nanolitres of fluid containing DNA, and at least 50 spots can be printed before replenishing the reservoir. A typical robot holds can hold up to 64 pins. This paper discusses the fabrication technology, the performance and spotting uniformity for reservoir pins, the possible limits to miniaturization of pins using this approach, and the future prospects for contact and non-contact arraying technology.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div B > Solid State Electronics and Nanoscale Science
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:04
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 03:19
DOI: 10.1117/12.425313