A challenge in protein microarrays is the functional application of membrane proteins. Peptide microarrays are an alternative. Here, proteins can be represented as peptides, from individual proteins to the entire proteome of cells. To produce peptide microarrays, high-density peptide microarrays are applied to SPOT synthesis or similar methods. At the institute, customized peptide microarrays are usually produced, where the peptides are purchased and after quality control immobilized in defined concentrations or series in multiple replicates. In contrast to proteins, peptides can differ greatly in their physicochemical properties such as isoelectric point and hydrophobicity. With the available technology, the ideal / optimal conditions can be specified for each individual peptide and all peptides can be dispensed reliably and reproducibly in very small volumes onto a wide variety of surfaces and structures.
Applications for peptide microarrays include the identification of antigenic regions of surface proteins in bacterial germs and the identification of immunogens, epitope mapping and determination of antibody specificity, serum profiling for the identification and validation of biomarkers, characterization of enzymes (e.g. target identification) or medical applications such as HLA profling and patient stratification.