A method and apparatus are provided for performing light-directed reactions in spatially addressable channels within a plurality of channels. One aspect of the invention employs photoactivatable reagents in solutions disposed into spatially addressable flow streams to control the parallel synthesis of molecules immobilized within the channels. The reagents may be photoactivated within a subset of channels at the site of immobilized substrate molecules or at a light-addressable site upstream from the substrate molecules. The method and apparatus of the invention find particularly utility in the synthesis of biopolymer arrays, e.g., oligonucleotides, peptides and carbohydrates, and in the combinatorial synthesis of small molecule arrays for drug discovery.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research, Inc., and the Government may have certain rights in this invention.