A microminiature sequencing apparatus and method provide means for simultaneously obtaining sequences of plural polynucleotide strands. The apparatus comprises a microchip into which plural channels have been etched using standard lithographic procedures and chemical wet etching. The channels include a reaction well and a separating section. Enclosing the channels is accomplished by bonding a transparent cover plate over the apparatus. A first oligonucleotide strand is chemically affixed to the apparatus through an alkyl chain. Subsequent nucleotides are selected by complementary base pair bonding. A target nucleotide strand is used to produce a family of labelled sequencing strands in each channel which are separated in the separating section. During or following separation the sequences are determined using appropriate detection means.
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-840R21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in this invention.