The development of a nanoparticle based detection methodology for DNA microarray applications is described. Originally reported by Mirkin and co-workers, the technology utilizes gold nanoparticles derivatized with thiol-modified oligonucleotides that are designed to bind complementary DNA targets. A glass surface with arrays of immobilized DNA capture sequences is used to capture DNA targets, which are then detected via hybridization to the gold nanoparticle probes. For maximum signal strength a layer of silver is deposited onto the gold nanoparticles, providing for highly sensitive and specific detection of target sequences using low cost optical detection systems. The relative optical detection limits for silver amplified gold nanoparticle probes and Cy3 based fluorescence have been tested. Furthermore, we report progress towards the direct detection of non-amplified genomic DNA from infectious agents and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in human genomic DNA based on nanoparticle technology.