Microarrays can be used to determine gene expression patterns in a particular cell or tissue

A DNA microarray is a collection of microscopic DNA sequences (oligos) attached to a solid surface

  • These sequences represent fractions of a large library of genes that are present in a cell
  • If a gene is active within a cell, then the cDNA (produced from the mRNA transcript) will bind to its complementary oligo
  • If the cDNA has been fluorescently labeled, then the complementary oligo can be identified (along with the gene it represents)
  • If cDNA from healthy and diseased cells are labeled with different fluorophores, comparisons of gene expression can be made
  • Genes that are only active in a diseased or normal state will be of particular interest to scientists

DNA Microarray Overview