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The Ziplex system (Axela) is a focused, low-density (400 features/probes per TipChipTM array) microarray platform that uses proprietary Flow-Thru Chip® technology. It is most often used to validate expression signatures following biomarker discovery studies using high-density microarrays.

The molecular interactions between the arrayed probes and the target sample occur in 3-D microchannels within the TipChipTM array. The array consists of 220,000 microchannels and can accommodate up to 400 features (each feature has 70-100 microchannels). The Ziplex system uses chemiluminescence (rather than fluorescence produced by lasers) and a CCD camera to quantify hybridisation signal intensities. The Ziplex instrument can process 8 samples in less than three hours (not including the overnight IVT reaction) with minimal hands-on time.

How it works:

Much like high-density arrays, the first & second strand synthesis of the RNA sample is performed. The second strand is then labelled with biotin by IVT. The concentration of labelled cRNA is measured and then hybridised to TipChipTM arrays. Hybridised targets are detected through sensitive chemiluminescent detection with a CCD camera

Figure 1. Patented Xceed Flow-Thru Chip technology. Left: The 20 x 20 (400) feature TipChip. Centre: The microchannels that comprise each feature of the TipChip. Right: A schematic of each microchannel. Hybridisation between the probes, which are attached to the wall of each microchannel, and the target occurs as the sample flows through the microchannel.

To learn more, visit the Axela website.

Cost: Please inquire
Turnaround time: Please inquire

Contact: Neil Winegarden at

Please note that special paperwork is required for shipping RNA from locations outside of Canada. For the Customs documentation that you will need, please download this form . Once you send us this information, the UHN Customs Officer will generate the appropriate Customs document and send it to you via e-mail. This document must be included with the waybill on your package.

Quick questions:
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How much total RNA is required per run?

The Ziplex System requires 500ng of total RNA.

What if my RNA samples are slightly degraded?

Like planar microarrays, it is possible to run slightly degraded samples but quality total RNA is necessary for optimal results.

What assays are available?

Xpress ChipsTM (arrays with probes relevant to metabolic, colon cancer, breast cancer, and inflammation studies) are available.

Autograph ChipsTM (custom arrays) must first be developed with Xceed.

What is Flow-Thru Chip technology?

Flow-Thru Chip (FTC) Technology, patented by Metrigenix (now known as Xceed Molecular), is at the core of the Ziplex System. This technology allows for the hybridisation of capture probes, which are attached to the walls of microchannels, and target molecules as sample flows through the channels. The 3-D hybridisation environment results in faster hybridisation times and improved assay performance.

What is a TipChip?

A TipChip is a microporous silicon microarray in which molecular interactions occur within a matrix of microchannels. TipChips are single-use consumable. Depending on the number of replicates, each TipChip can provide quantitative data for up to 120 different genes.

Are there control samples on the TipChip?

In terms of controls, TipChips include probes for assessing hybridisation selectivity, probes targeting the 5' and 3' regions of commonly used housekeeping genes to assess amplified sample quality, and negative control probes targeting non-human sequences to measure background hybridisation and specificity.

How long does it take to process one sample?

It takes less than 3 hours, and 8 samples can be run simultaneously.