The development of biochips is a major thrust of the rapidly growing biotechnology industry, which encompasses a very diverse range of research efforts including genomics, proteomics, and pharmaceuticals, among other activities. Advances in these areas are giving scientists new methods for unravelling the complex biochemical processes occurring inside cells, with the larger goal of understanding and treating human diseases. At the same time, the semiconductor industry has been steadily perfecting the science of micro-miniaturization. The merging of these two fields in recent years has enabled biotechnologists to begin packing their traditionally bulky sensing tools into smaller and smaller spaces, onto so-called biochips. These chips are essentially miniaturized laboratories that can perform hundreds or thousands of simultaneous biochemical reactions. Biochips enable researchers to quickly screen large numbers of biological analytes for a variety of purposes, from disease diagnosis to detection of bioterrorism agents.
Subscribe to rss feed