myArray™ – Custom Designed Microarrays

Arbor Biosciences specializes in manufacturing fully custom microarrays in a variety of flexible formats, with up to 6 arrays per slide, under our myArray™ product portfolio.

In addition to custom arrays, we also offer a wide variety of predesigned catalog oligonucleotide microarrays for most of the sequenced archaea, bacteria, and some eukaryotes. Easily review our catalog of more than 650 different organisms to make a selection or contact us about generating a microarray for an organism not included in the list. myArray slides are fully compatible with Agilent technology hybridization cassettes and gasket slides for convenient processing. Special formats are also available per request. Contact us for a quote or more information.

Features & Benefits

High-Quality Oligos
Reliable performance within and across slides
Custom Designs
Generate arrays for any organism with any sequence
No Minimums
Order volumes to match project size
Custom Array Formats
Design unique layouts to align with application
Volume Discounts
Savings on large scale orders

We manufacture microarrays in a variety of formats with probe sequences typically up to 50-mer size. Below are details on designing probes, layout of probes and potential microarray formats on the slides. Please review prior to placing an order and contact us with any questions you may have about the process.

Microarray Probes

Either submit a list of probe sequences of your choice or request to use our complimentary design service in order to select high quality probe sequences. In either case, we will use proprietary software to screen all sequences and identify those that may be poorly synthesized, like long monotonous repeats, or generate cross-hybridization signals, like GT repeats in mammals. In the end, we will generate a list of robust probes with the highest specificity for their intended targets.

Spot Layout

Choose how many replicates of your probe you would like to have on each array. While we usually recommend from 3 to 5 replicates, your experiment may call for a different number. You will also be able to choose if you want probe replicates randomly spread across the entire array area or if you prefer to have them grouped to form easily recognizable patterns.

Microarray Format

Select from a variety of our standard microarray formats or request a custom format. Format selection is driven in part by the number of replicated probes on the array and by the hybridization method you plan to use, such as cover slip, Agilent cassettes, etc.

We offer pre-designed microarrays for more than 650 organisms or strains. If you are looking for a microarray for an organism with a sequenced genome, then there is a good chance we have already developed a design. Please contact us for more information about organisms not in our catalog.

myArrays are synthesized on standard sized glass substrates (~26mm x ~75mm x ~1mm). Any equipment (fluidics stations, hybridization stations, scanners, centrifuges, etc.) developed to use standard “microscope” slide-sized substrates should accommodate myArray slides.

No. myArrays are made by synthesizing single stranded oliogonucleotides directly on glass substrates.

Yes, myArrays can be used with Agilent Technologies’ gasket slides and hybridization cassettes. Agilent hybridization cassettes are compatible with all myArray formats. Which Agilent gasket slide is used depends on the myArray format. Six by 5K (or 7K) myArrays use Agilent’s 8-gasket backing slide. Three by 15K (or 20K) myArrays use Agilent’s 4-gasket backing slide. Thirty or 40K myArrays use Agilent’s 2-gasket backing slide. All other formats (60, 80K) use a one gasket backing slide.

No. Agilent Technologies’ hybridization cassettes and backing slides can be found here. If you would prefer other options, please contact

Yes, myArrays can be scanned with an Agilent scanner. However, gal (GenePix alignment) files we provide cannot be used for data extraction. Gal files can be converted to the appropriate Agilent scanner compatible file type but Arbor Biosciences does not support this process. We recommend the Axon 4000 series of scanners.

In addition to your myArray slides, you will receive a spike-in control oligo mixture and, by email, a gal (GenePix alignment) file that describes the location and probe information for each feature. Control oligos may be added to hybridization solution (1l control oligo per 100l of hybridization solution). These fluorescent oligos will bind to control probes on each myArray. Control probes may be omitted upon customer request. Signal from the control probes may help determine if the hybridization and washing stringency were sufficient and aid in proper data extraction grid alignment.

myArray probes can be any length the customer desires. However, Arbor Biosciences recommends probes no longer than 50mers. Catalog myArrays have probe lengths of 45-47 bases (the slight variation in probe length insures that all probes fall within a narrow Tm distribution). One myArray may contain probes of different length. Custom probe lengths longer than 50mers are possible (please inquire). Due to the step-wise yield during synthesis (98-99%), it is not advisable or practical to manufacture probes longer than 60mers as the final yield will deteriorate rapidly with longer probes.

We synthesize probes 3′ > 5′. This orientation will covalently tether the 3′ end of the probe to a spacer molecule and the 5′ end of the probe will be free.

No. All probes on myArrays are not cleavable (removable).

All probes are synthesized on amine-functionalized glass substrates 3′ > 5′. Probes are covalently attached to the glass substrate as follows: glass-amine-spacer-probe. Probe sequence is pushed away from the substrate surface by first synthesizing a lawn of poly deoxy Thymidine spacer everywhere. The spacer prevents steric hindrance during binding experiments. The default spacer is 15 nucleotides in length. Spacers of different length or composition are available, please inquire.

We use glass substrates that have a notch in one corner  for unambiguous orientation. With the notch in the upper right hand corner, as shown in Figure 1, the surface containing probes is facing you. Additionally, the sticky label with bar code will be on the surface that has the probes.

Currently, 80K features per array.

Up to 6 for our standard 5K and 7K formats.

Custom formats are also available. Your custom design, however, must fit within the potential synthesis area.

Catalog arrays have at least three technical replicates of each unique probe sequence within each myArray.  Some catalog arrays are available with 5 or more replicates. For custom designs, the extent of probe replication is up to the customer. Different replication levels for different sets of probes can be included on one myArray.


Custom myArrays

Because our proprietary synthesis is flexible, often we can synthesize arrays that satisfy customer specifications without increased cost. However, we cannot synthesize features outside of the potential synthesis area (see Figure 1) and the maximum number of features we can synthesize on one slide remains 80K.

We cannot synthesize on plastic. We may be able to synthesize on glass or silicate substrates provided by our customers as long as the substrate dimensions are a standard size (~1mm x ~26mm x ~76mm). In cases where a type of substrate surface modification has not been tested in our system, we recommend a small, low cost, pilot study to determine if oligonucleotide synthesis is possible (based on our QC process) and if your custom myArray functions well in your process.

Our default spot size is ~60mm in diameter. Currently we cannot synthesize spots smaller than the default size. However, we can synthesize features that have a larger surface area compared to the default surface area (~3000mm2).   Larger spot sizes will be rectangular. Please contact our technical staff for details.


Probe Design

Probes for gene expression myArrays are designed using a proprietary version of publically available software called OligoArray2.1 (see here). Probe sequences for our catalog arrays are deposited in OligoArrayDb (see here

Yes. If your organism of interest is not listed on our website, we can design probes for you if the genome has been completely sequenced, fully annotated and publicly available.

Typically our standard probe design is complementary. Our standard design attempts to design up to three specific probes per gene. We will likely not be successful for all genes (e.g., some genes will have only 2, 1 or no specific probes). For genes with no specific probes, we may be able to design a probe or probes that are predicted to cross hybridize to other genes. If we include these potentially cross-hybridizing probes on the array (this is up to the customer), we will disclose all “other” genes that may cross hybridize to the probe. Customers may choose the number of specific probes per gene to include on the array (up to 3) and the number of technical replicates per unique probe sequence (minimal recommendation is 3).

Yes. Probe sequences are submitted as either a tab delimited text file or an Excel file. Only two columns are necessary; an ID column and a sequence column. Please submit only one instance of each unique probe sequence no matter how many technical replicates you may desire within each array. A third column, replication number, is only necessary if different replication is desired for subsets of probes. Please submit sequences in the standard 5′ > 3′ format. We cannot synthesize degenerate bases (e.g., R, Y, M, K, S, N, etc.), so please submit only A, C, G or T. You may submit probes of any length up to 50 bases.



Most often customers will request a quote by either contacting or our microarray product manager, Donald Schwartz, Ph.D. ( Along with the quote, we will send an order form. To initiate the order, either fill-in and return the order form by email, or have your institution send a PO by email or fax (734)-998-0750.

Yes, there are discounts for ordering larger quantities of slides. Currently, there is a 5% discount for ordering 20-49 slides and a 10% discount for ordering 50 or more slides.

Most orders are shipped within two weeks of receipt of the order form or PO but it may take up to 4 weeks.



myArrays are vacuum sealed in a plastic bag inside a plastic slide holder. myArrays are very stabile in the original packaging, assuming the vacuum seal has not been compromised, when stored at the room temperature (~22C) away from moisture and light. Please do not freeze or refrigerate myArrays at any time. Once the slide mailer has been opened, unused slides are best stored in the same mailer and, if possible, stored under vacuum.

 If stored properly, myArrays should be stabile for at least 6 months.



Hybridization temperature depends on a number of variables. Arbor Biosciences technical staff will be able to recommend an initial temperature for your application.

myArrays are compatible with lifter slips for static hybridizations (incased in a hybridization cassette and immersed in a water bath) and Agilent Technologies gasket slides for dynamic hybridizations (in hybridization ovens using Agilent Technologies hybridization cassettes and backing slides). Typically, >20hrs is recommended for static hybridizations and minimally 12hrs is recommended for dynamic hybridizations. These suggestions assume a fluorescent target concentration of ~35ng/uL, mean length of ~150nt and specific activity of ~1fluor moiety per 30 bases.

Yes. We will provide a recommended target preparation and hybridization protocol (for converting total RNA to fluor-coupled amino-allyl-cRNA). The protocol will have a recipe for the hybridization solution.


Washing and Scanning

myArrays are synthesized on 26mm x 75mm glass substrates. Any washing/hybridization station that accommodates this format should work. However, it is not necessary to have expensive equipment to wash myArrays. Standard 50ml centrifuge tubes can be used, but these can be a bit awkward to use and throughput is poor. Alternatively, standard microscope washing/staining dishes with metal or glass racks can be used. We prefer the later because it is an inexpensive solution, the dishes are readily available from numerous scientific supply houses that sell histology supplies and, with a standard stir plate and stir bar, wash solutions can be agitated to facilitate washing.

No. myArrays are synthesized on 26mm x 75mm glass substrates. Any scanner designed to accommodate ~1×3 inch microscope slides should work well. For example, myArrays have been scanned with the GenePix® 4000B and 4000A (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA), Agilent, and Innoscan scanners.

Of course the fluorescent intensity of your target as well as the amount of target hybridized impacts the PMT setting. Most scanners will have an option to auto set the PMT, which may or may not work well. We recommend actively adjusting the PMT during scanning so that the full dynamic range of signal is achieved. The PMT should be set such that only a few features (1-2%) have some pixels (<10%) that are saturated. Under these conditions, the full dynamic range of signal intensity is appreciated.

myArray standard feature diameter is ~60µm. We suggest scanning at 5µm per pixel resolution.

Ordering Information

Catalog # Description Quantity Price Contact Us
103000 myArray Custom 30K: Single array with up to 30k spots 1 slide $300 Order Now
104000 myArray Custom 40K: Single array with up to 40k spots 1 slide $300 Order Now
106000 myArray Custom 60K: Single array with up to 60k spots 1 slide $300 Order Now
108000 myArray Custom 80K: Single array with up to 80k spots 1 slide $300 Order Now
100506 myArray Custom 6 x 5K: 6 arrays per slide with 5k spots each 1 slide $300 Order Now
100706 myArray Custom 6 x 7K: 6 arrays per slide with 7k spots each 1 slide $300 Order Now
101503 myArray Custom 3 x 15K: 3 arrays per slide with 15k spots each 1 slide $300 Order Now
102003 myArray Custom 3 x 20K: 3 arrays per slide with 20k spots each 1 slide $300 Order Now
10XXXX myArray Custom Format 1 slide Inquire Order Now

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