DNA microarrays and sensors have become essential tools in the functional analysis of sequence information. Recently we reported that chimeric hexitol (HNA) and altritol (ANA) nucleotide monomers with an anhydrohexitol sugar moiety are easily available and proved their chemistry to be compatible with DNA and RNA synthesis. In this communication we describe a novel analytical platform based on HNA and ANA units to be used as synthetic oligonucleotide arrays on a glass solid support for match/mismatch detection of DNA and RNA targets. Arrays were fabricated by immobilization of diene-modified oligonucleotides on maleimido-activated glass slides. To demonstrate the selectivity and sensitivity of the HNA/ANA arrays and to compare their properties with regular DNA arrays, sequences in the reverse transcriptase gene (codon 74) and the protease gene of HIV-1 (codon 10) were selected. Both, the relative intensity of the signal and match/mismatch discrimination increased up to fivefold for DNA targets and up to 3-3.5-fold for RNA targets applying HNA or ANA arrays (ANA > HNA > DNA). Certainly in the new field of miRNA detection, ANA arrays could prove very beneficial and their properties should be investigated in more detail. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.