The biological significance of glycans in the post-genomic era requires the development of new technologies to enable functional studies of carbohydrates in a high-throughput manner. Recently, carbohydrate microarrays have been exploited as an advanced technology for this purpose. Efficient immobilization methods for carbohydrate probes on the proper surface are essential for the successful fabrication of carbohydrate microarrays. Up to date, several techniques have been developed to attach simple or complex carbohydrates to a solid surface. The developed glycan microarrays have been applied for functional glycomics, drug discovery, and diagnosis. In this concept article, we discuss the progress of immobilization methods of carbohydrates on solid surfaces, their potential uses for biological research and biomedical applications, and possible solutions for some remaining challenges to improve this new technology.
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