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Agilent Introduces Microarray System for Expression Profiling of Human miRNAs

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Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a microarray-based assay for microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling to deliver levels of sensitivity and specificity while incorporating simple protocols for labeling and detection.

The assay can allow for very small amounts of sample (100 ng of total RNA), making it well-suited for miRNA expression profiling experiments.

miRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs that are only 19-30 nucleotides long, and are estimated to regulate approximately 30 percent of all human genes.

Recent studies have shown that distinct miRNA expression patterns are associated with a number of tumor types as well as involved in regulating processes such as cell development, metabolism and viral infections. Because miRNAs are potential regulators of gene expression, scientists are increasingly interested in measuring them for research, drug discovery, other therapeutics and, eventually, diagnostic tests.

“miRNA profiling is a perfect application for the Agilent microarray platform,” said Yvonne Linney, Agilent general manager, Genomics.

Linney continued, “Our flexible manufacturing procedure allows us to add new content as new miRNAs are discovered; the multipack format makes this an economical platform; and the high sensitivity achieved with the system enables researchers to detect miRNAs from very small amounts of starting material. This application is an important addition to our microarray portfolio, and is synergistic with Agilent offerings for gene expression studies and array-based CGH.”

“Agilent’s platform for miRNA expression profiling includes a straightforward and easy sample-preparation procedure combined with their well established ink-jet printed oligonucleotide arrays,” said Zora Modrusan, scientist and head of the Microarray Laboratory, Molecular Biology at Genentech.

“An advantage of their technology compared to the other ones is that a very low amount of starting total RNA sample is required, thus enabling miRNA profiling from clinical samples," Modrusan added.

The Agilent miRNA assays are available in multipack format with eight microarrays printed on a standard 1 in. x 3 in. slide, which provides economical cost-per-experiment.

The miRNA microarrays are processed using the standard Agilent microarray platform, including hardware and software required for hybridization, scanning, feature extraction and data analysis. One-color analysis further simplifies the experimental design.