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Biochip: Recognizes Thousands of Genes at a Time

BY: Muniba Safdar | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2010-12-01 16:36:44
 

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INTRODUCTION:

Biochips got the major hurtle in the springing field of biotechnology industry, which covers many other ongoing fields including proteomics, genomics, and pharmaceuticals. Unraveling human cells are always been a complex task for scientists, but now biochips has started their role and giving scientists new approaches for raveling out the complex biochemical systems and process which are occurring inside our cells. By understanding these complex processes, scientists can easily get information about the human diseases and better get their best remedy. Now at the same time semiconductor industries are trying to reduce the science of micro-miniaturization.

Biochips are being made by packing of sensing tools into smaller places in recent years by the merging of these two fields. It can perform hundreds or thousands of biochemical reactions. Biochips provide quick view to researchers that can easily diagnose or detect the disease for a variety of purposes.

HISTORY:

Biochips have been started with the sensor technology and have a long story. Biochips were first introduced by Affymetrix. In 1922, Hughes invented first portable chemistry-based sensors, and that was glass pH electrode. A paper was published in 1956 by Leland Clark; this paper was about oxygen sensing electrode. This device was actually the basis for a glucose sensor. As we all ready know that, in the presence of glucose enzymes perform their functions. And their function is to decrease the amount of oxygen that is available to the oxygen electrode. Enzyme electrodes became known biosensors in today's use. In modern DNA-based biosensors, PCR (polymerase chain reaction, a method used in polymerization of DNA to replicate) technique invented by Kary Mullis in 1983 and fluorescent tagging of DNA molecules which were devised by Hood and co-workers in 1986, these two developments made possible the technology.

In 1990, biochips were developed on a large scale with the advances of biochemistry and
semiconductor fields. Biochips provide a "platform" technology to integrated components at several levels. The sensing chip is just like a piece of an analysis system. Moreover, in microarray technology, biochips require signal processing and transduction so that results of sensing experiments can be outputted. Translation of sensing technologies into computers (light intensity, voltage, and mass) which then produces final human readable output and must be done in a natural process or biological process. If we want to make a successful chip then we need to integrate multiple technologies. This required a multidisciplinary approach, i.e. from sensing chemistry to micro arraying then to signal processing.

For example, genes, such as p53 (a tumor suppressor) and BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer genes) are detected by "GeneChip" (A microchip that holds DNA probes that form half of the DNA double helix and can recognize DNA from samples being tested) products that contains thousands of DNA sensors (used in sensing defects or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPS). For new applications new platforms are enabled in sensing research. With the numerous advancements various industries desire to get wide range of biological agents and trying to make sensing mediators which have DNA, RNA, proteins, and living cells being employed on biochips.

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