Since their advent in the early 1990s, microarray technologies have developed into a powerful and ubiquitous platform for biomolecular analysis. Microarrays consist of three major elements: the substrate upon which they are constructed, the chemistry employed to attach biomolecules, and the biomolecules themselves. Although glass substrates and silane-based attachment chemistries are used for the vast majority of current microarray platforms, these materials suffer from severe limitations in stability, due to hydrolysis of both the substrate material itself and of the silyl ether linkages employed for attachment. These limitations in stability compromise assay performance and render impossible many potential microarray applications. We describe here a suite of alternative carbon-based substrates and associated attachment chemistries for microarray fabrication. The substrates themselves, as well as the carbon-carbon bond-based attachment chemistries, offer greatly increased chemical stability, enabling a myriad of novel applications.


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