Doelan is an automated tool to check the quality of produced DNA microarrays. This software is based on the execution of TestSuites on quality control data to validate batches of chips. The reports generated by Doelan will help microarray platforms in their quality approach such as ISO 9001 certification. Doelan application is written with Java programming language, works with a plug-in system that allows everyone to add is own validation test and is distributed under the GNU General Public License.
Production of glass slide microarrays requires the spotting of a large number of probes. In this process, many factors can influence the success of the spotting (i.e. blocked spotting pin, glass slides...); so controlling the quality of the spotting process is a required step before to distribute chips to the user. Up to now, it was quite difficult for the quality control manager to check if the spotting of chips was good or bad: many different parameters as spot diameters, heterogeneous spots or absent spots had to be manually considered to reach a decision. In addition, it is a very subjective step, so that the opinion about a batch may differ between two quality control managers. Using manually defined criterias for microarray quality, Doelan allows an automated expertise of the quality of a batch of slides and makes automatically the decision of validation or rejection of the batch.
The principle of Doelan is based on TestSuites. A TestSuite is a set of tests, which are dedicated to a specific features (for example spot diameter). The microarray designer creates the TestSuites and sets the parameters (i.e. minimal and maximal values, thresholds...) of each test to validate a chip. Several TestSuites can be created according to the type of validation experiment chosen as sybergreen, universal RNA hybridisation or a "real" experiment. The fail of one of the tests leads to the fail of the TestSuite, and consequently to the rejection of all the batch of chips. Doelan is bundled with many tests. These tests can deal with various features of the chips such as spot diameter, spot flags, spot heterogeneity, saturated pixels of the spots... In addition to this standard tests, the Doelan plug-in system with Java programming allows one to set up new kind of test to fulfil specific needs.