New method allows single microchip to screen tens of thousands of genes simultaneously

March 05, 2016

Miniaturised cell spot microarray techniques, which are used to analyse the functioning of cells, have featured in drug development at VTT for a few years now, and they are both an important research tool and a development priority. Ultra-high throughput screening (UHTS) techniques are used at VTT to study how one gene or groups of genes regulate the cell activities, and how the cell functions promote health, or cause illnesses. RNA interference technology allows genes to be "silenced" and thereby inhibit protein production of genes. Potential future use of RNAi technology includes also the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

The unique method developed by VTT is mostly used in genomic-scale analyses which have previously been very expensive. The new technology is believed to give VTT a competitive advantage in genome research which is of special interest of the drug industry. Other potential applications include studying the combined effects of genes and drugs. Research scientists at VTT have also cited the method previously in a scientific publication focusing on the cell division of breast cancer cells. The method is believed to significantly boost VTT's commercial activities with the drug industry.