Low sample number array...? - (May/16/2011 )
I was wondering if there is something like an array-based system in which you can measure the expression of a few genes (lets say 50 genes) in a few samples. I know that for this purpose a qPCR-like technique would be suitable, but I would like an array-based approach.
Does anyone know if something like this exists?
you can have a custom array made.
If you are just doing a few samples, you might be best off with real time PCR. I think you can get custom lyophilized mastermix, complete with primers, from some vendors and that would facilitate doing real time on 50 genes.
As mdfenko suggests, you could get a custom array made, but this could be a lot of trouble for just a few samples. There are academic labs and core facilities that will print custom arrays much cheaper than commercial producers. Since you are only looking at 50 genes, you could have them print multiple mini arrays on a slide, and you could even print multiple mini arrays in a well-format like these:
from the Gel Company. This allows you do to more samples per chip.
Commercial producers that you may want to consider are Applied Microarrays and MYcroarray. An alternate is CustomArray; their semiconductor arrays are designed for customization and can be read on standard array scanners.
Other technologies to consider are the Luminex bead assay and NanoString Tech., but these require access to specialized hardware.
Thanks for the advice, David C H. It's been quite helpful!