This is a robot used to create microarrays

You can see still pictures and movies of this robot in action.

Figure 1. DNA micrarray robot enclosed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. The temperature and humidity must be closely regulated or the spot sizes will vary or the printing pins will dry out too quickly.

Figure 2. This shows the print head with 48 pins. Each pin is spring loaded and has a small slit in it which draws up the DNA solution by capillary action. You can see the rows of spotted DNA on the glass slides to the left of the print head; they appear as small grey lines. Each slide is numbered for identification.

Figure 3. The robot is controlled by a computer with a graphic user interface (GUI) similar to a web page.

Figure 4. The production of DNA microarrays is automated but it takes a lot of personal attention to details to make sure the robot is peforming properly. Here Allison is recording the progress of the robot as it is producing about 100 human DNA chips with 40,000 spots on each chip.


1) Loading the print head with DNA.

2) Printing the spots.

3) Suck out the remaining DNA and start the washing to clean the print head.

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