Since its advent in 1995, miniaturized microarray analysis has become a mainstay analytical technique of genomic, proteomic, pharmaceutical and clinical laboratories worldwide. The initial microarray chips, developed by Pat Brown at Stanford University, utilized oligonucleic acid probes deposited on a substrate to discover the genomic composition of cells. After this initial focus, the technology rapidly expanded to utilize other, related probes (such as DNA, RNA, peptides, carbohydrates).
In addition to expanding the types of molecular probes, the technology also increased the types of substrates to which probes can be attached. Glass slides, plastic/silica chips, and silica or polystyrene beads can now be used as the medium for constructing a microarray.