We used photolithographic microfabrication techniques to create very small stainless steel fountain pens
that were installed in place of conventional pens on a microarray spotter. Because of the small feature size produced by the microfabricated pens, we were able to print arrays with up to 25,000 spots/cm2
, significantly higher than can be achieved by other deposition methods. This feature density is sufficiently large that a standard microscope slide can contain multiple replicates of every gene in a complex organism such as a mouse or human. We tested carryover during array printing with dye solution, labeled DNA, and hybridized DNA, and we found it to be indistinguishable from background. Hybridization also showed good sequence specificity to printed oligonucleotides. In addition to improved slide capacity, the microfabrication process offers the possibility of low-cost mass-produced pens and the flexibility to include novel pen features that cannot be machined with conventional techniques.