August 29, 2005 – Canon Inc. has developed a DNA chip priced at several thousand yen, less than 1/10th that of comparable DNA microarrays used to diagnose infections, by employing its inkjet printer technology, said a story in Nikkei English News. Clinical tests of the chip have been conducted jointly with Tohoku University on sample shipments scheduled to be released in fiscal 2006.
To manufacture the chips, solutions containing DNA fragments of a bacteria’s genes are sprayed on the surface of a glass substrate. It is possible to spray over 1000 solutions on the substrate simultaneously, according to Canon.
The company’s Bubblejet printer technology ejects four picoliters (a trillionth of a liter) of liquid at one time. In the initial stage, the chip is capable of detecting 50 different bacteria and viruses, including Staphylococcus aureus, known for staphylococcal infections, and the influenza virus
DNA chips reduce the required time to identify bacteria or viruses that cause diseases from about a week to one day by eliminating the process of cultivating them.