DNA Arrays pp 237-246 | Cite as

Confocal Scanning of Genetic Microarrays

  • Arthur E. Dixon
  • Savvas Damaskinos
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 170)


Confocal scanning laser microscopes are best known for making very high-resolution images of small three-dimensional (3D) specimens by recording a series of two-dimensional confocal slices of the specimen at different focus positions. Additionally, confocal microscopes are excellent for measuring weak fluorescence from areas adjacent to areas of very strong fluorescence, because the confocal pinhole rejects light from areas outside the focus spot. The resolution of a confocal microscope is also better than that of a nonconfocal instrument, an important property when submicron resolution is required. At first glance, none of these properties seems important for imaging genetic microarrays, whose features range from 200 to 10 μ in size, and may cover the entire surface of a microscope slide in a two-dimensional array. However, we will find that the array of genetic material, when deposited on a weakly fluorescent substrate (like a glass slide) or in contact with an aqueous buffer solution acts like a 3D specimen as far as imaging is concerned. Confocal imaging helps to reject much of the background signal from the glass slide or the aqueous solution, and it is also useful for rejecting fluorescence from areas that surround the focal spot in the focal plane.


  1. 1.
    Pawley, J. B. (ed.) (1995) Handbook of Biological Confocal Microscopy, Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dixon, A. E., Damaskinos, S., Ribes, A., and Beesley, K. M. (1995) A new confocal scanning beam laser macroscope using a telecentric, f-theta laser scan lens. J. Microsc. 178, 261–266.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dixon, A. E. and Damaskinos, S. (1998) Apparatus and method for scanning laser imaging of macroscopic samples. US Patent # 5,760,951.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur E. Dixon
    • 1
  • Savvas Damaskinos
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Photometrics Inc.WaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations