Sticky solution for DNA chips

Mussels can stick well to almost any surface whether wave-lashed rock, the metal supports of a pier or the wooden hull of a fishing boat. Now, this well-remarked adhesive ability has been mimicked in the laboratory with a catecholamine polymer allowing US researchers to attach DNA firmly to a substrate for microarray applications that side-step costly adhesion techniques that can only be used with one substrate. The new technology allows DNA and other biomolecules to be attached firmly to almost any surface, lending mussel muscle to biotech and biomedical research. The adhesive can be used for glass substrates, as well as less common substrates such as gold, platinum, oxides, semiconductors, or other polymers, without interfering with the activity of the biomolecules being anchored.