The SPOT Synthesis Method (1990)

This method is among the most widely used multiple parallel array-directed synthesis techniques.


Automation of the SPOT synthesis process is realised with industrial partners:

ABIMED AnalysenTechnik GmbH (H. Gausepohl);

MediUm-TECH GmbH (F. Adler)


The Fibre Bundle Array (2001)

A new process is currently developed for the low cost manufacturing of large numbers of identical copies of microarrays (DNA, protein etc.).

Technology Oriented Work

R. Frank, U. Beutling, A. Dikmans

Several technologies based on the use of planar solid support materials for simultaneous multiple and parallel chemical synthesis were pioneered by R. Frank: the “filter disc” method in 1983, the “SPOT-synthesis” methods in 1990 and the “Cut & Combine” method in 1998. A particular aspect of our technology developments is to adjust compound library formats characterized by scale, size, complexity, storage and assay presentation to the appropriate high throughput processes.

A major workhorse for our library synthesis program is the SPOT synthesis, which allows to perform in parallel up to 20 000 chemical reactions by dispensing sub-microliter volumes of reagent solutions to an array of small individual synthesis locations (spots) on a continuous membrane support. These membrane bound compound arrays can be directly applied in screening experiments (affinity capture or enzyme transformation assays) or spots can be separated and compounds cleaved for other type of assays requiring solution phase compounds such as cell-based assays. Peptide arrays of this type are made available in house to all other projects through the peptide synthesis platform.

The technology oriented work aims at the full automation, miniaturization, compatibility with increasingly more complex cellular assay systems, and high-throughput performance. Special emphasis is put on a) the utilization of planar carriers toward a highly miniaturized solid phase screening in micro-array formats (58), b) a continuous format cell based screening (CFS) platform which provides planar arrays of soluble synthetic compounds directly to cells seeded on them, and c) novel devices such as the BioDisc-Synthesizer (28). This work also includes efforts to set up antibody and protein array technology to be used in compound profiling and target validation (Books 19).


The chemical sewing machine: pipetting robots for the semi and fully automated SPOT synthesis