Recently a dramatic change has happened for biological and biochemical analysis. Originally developed as an academic massive parallel screening tool, industry has caught the idea as well of performing all kinds of assays in the new format of microarrays. From food manufacturers over water supply plants to the omnipresent pharmaceutical industry, the buzz-word is bioarrays, attracting scientific funding and investor capital. Although only few commercial products are currently out in the research laboratorium, hospital clinic or at the local doctor, there are high expectations for arrays screening predispositions and following therapy, monitoring the amount of bacteria in food stuff, measuring the small signs from cardiac arrest before it happens, analysing the toxin level in a water sample (preferentially on-line) or deciphering the identity of an infecting bug. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.