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Biochips have become an extremely important research tool in the field of life sciences and have found many applications in data-mining, highly parallel genome-wide assays, bioinformatics analysis, clinic diagnostics, sample separation and treatment, and monitoring applications.
Biochips not only consist of immobilized biomolecules spatially addressed on planar surfaces, but also contain biomolecules fixed in microchannels or microwells, or on an array of beads or sensors. Typically, a biochip's surface area is no larger than a fingernail. Like a computer chip that can perform millions of mathematical operations in one second, a biochip can perform thousands of biological Reactions, such as decoding genes, in a few seconds.