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Collaborative Efforts Between The Local Industry And Engineering Technology And Biology Students In Building A Dna Micro Arrayer

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

BME Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.315.1 - 9.315.8

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Saleh Sbenaty

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Session 1109

Collaborative Efforts between the Local Industry and Engineering Technology and Biology Students in Building a DNA Microarrayer Saleh M. Sbenaty, Ph.D. Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies Middle Tennessee State University


The current paper describes the collaborative efforts between engineering technology students, biology students, and a local industry in building an advanced microarrayer system for DNA testing. BioVentures, a biotech company located in Murfreesboro, TN and one of the world largest suppliers of DNA markers has sponsored the project. BioVentures has provided all materials and support while a combination of graduate and undergraduate student team from MTSU built the system and tested it. The team was supervised by a team of faculty from both the engineering technology and biology departments as well as biotech engineers from BioVentures. These collaborative efforts have resulted in a very positive and promising experience for all parties involved. A brief account of this experience and its outcomes, especially on the engineering technology students, will be presented.

I. Introduction

Microarrays are an orderly arrangement of DNA samples spotted onto glass slides or nylon membranes. Each spot is typically a sequence of DNA representing a distinct gene. To achieve the desired precision, these spots are typically applied by machines called microarrayers. The overall array dimensions are approximately 2 cm by 2 cm. Each spot of DNA is 100 to 200 microns in diameter and up to 20,000 can be applied to one slide [1]. Figure 1 shows how a microarray is printed.

Figure 1. Printing microarrays [2].

The principle underlying the use of microarrays is DNA Hybridization. DNA is a double stranded molecule with each strand consisting of a stand of nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a sugar, phosphate, and nitrogenous base. There are four nitrogenous bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The A of one stand will only bind with the T of the other stand, and C will only bind with G. The stands of DNA can be separated or denatured. As seen in figure 2, Separate strands will bind only if their bases are complementary. Using these properties, an unknown Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Sbenaty, S. (2004, June), Collaborative Efforts Between The Local Industry And Engineering Technology And Biology Students In Building A Dna Micro Arrayer Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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