Increase efficiency and speed while reducing costs
Echo Liquid Handlers integrated into an Access Workstation provide a high-throughput, fully automated system, pooling oligos, assembling constructs, and spotting colonies. Whether using the Gibson Assembly® or Golden Gate® cloning method, tipless acoustic liquid handling reduces costs, waste, and saves time.
Traditional DNA assembly methods require reactions of 10-20 microliters per well. The Echo Liquid Handler can reduce the volume 100-fold, drastically cutting reagent costs. With the ability to reliably transfer volumes as low as 25 nanoliters, Echo systems can extend the useful life of a primer library and eliminate the need to dilute high concentration primers, saving on storage and primer costs, and preventing dilution errors. Market-leading synthetic biology companies use Echo Liquid Handlers to automate gene synthesis with higher throughput and lower cost than they could with tip-based liquid handlers.
Use of the Echo liquid handler for library preparation versus conventional liquid handlers allows for up to a 100-fold reduction in reaction volumes, dramatically reducing study reagent costs.
In addition to miniaturization, the Echo system can rapidly pool oligos or DNA fragments from library plates. Since there is no contact with fluid and no time spend changing or washing tips, the Echo system can transfer each oligo or fragment from any well of a microplate in less than a second. This can save 10-15 hours of time in a high-throughput setting. And since Echo systems have the ability to transfer volumes as low as 25 nanoliters, high concentration libraries do not have to be diluted prior to transfer, resulting in simultaneous normalization while pooling. This enables equal distribution of reads to every sample and very even representation of all samples. This greatly reduces the time to normalize and pool libraries and improves the reliability of the entire library preparation process.
Finally, assay performance is essential. The accuracy and precision of Echo Liquid Handlers eliminate noise from assay data. This enables better detection of small changes in microbes and other organisms.
“(The Echo) is an extremely fast instrument... a significant savings in terms of time. We’ve been able to compress pipelines that take about 12 hours to about 3 hours.”
Sunil Chandran | Amyris Biotechnologies
Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) Special Issue
Paulina Kanigowska, Yue Shen, Yijing Zheng, Susan Rosser, and Yizhi Cai
School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) technology uses focused acoustic energy to transfer nanoliter-scale liquid droplets with high precision and accuracy. This non-contact, tipless, low-volume dispensing technology minimizes the possibility of cross-contamination and reduces the costs of reagents and consumables. To date, acoustic dispensers have mainly been used in screening libraries of compounds. In this paper, we describe the first application of this powerful technology to the rapidly developing field of synthetic biology, for DNA synthesis and assembly at the nanoliter scale using a Labcyte Echo 550 acoustic dispenser. We were able to successfully downscale PCRs and the popular one-pot DNA assembly methods, Golden Gate and Gibson assemblies, from the microliter to the nanoliter scale with high assembly efficiency, which effectively cut the reagent cost by 20- to 100-fold. We envision that acoustic dispensing will become an instrumental technology in synthetic biology, in particular in the era of DNA foundries.