Amyris Boosts Production and Reduces Expenses with Acoustic Liquid Handling

Written by Labcyte on August 13, 2018

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Scientists at Amyris have accelerated production and reduced manufacturing expenses by as much as 90 percent through their use of the Echo® Liquid Handler, according to Chance Elliot, the company’s Director of Automation Engineering, in this SynBioBeta webinar. In the presentation, Elliot describes how Amyris built an eco-friendly automation pipeline using bio-sustainable sources, as well as how industrial microbiology workflows can be made cheaper, faster, and more accurate.

According to Elliot, the use of acoustic liquid handling is necessary for strain construction efficiency. With miniaturized reactions, DNA preparation steps are consolidated for an 80 percent increase in assembly speed. What would normally have taken multiple days and multiple machines was turned into a streamlined 90-minute process.

Transformation and plating steps have also been automated by using the Echo Liquid Handler. Instead of plating transformed cells onto a 10 cm petri dish, cells are transferred onto an Omnitray and then screened for target genes. By scaling down and miniaturizing assays, Amyris has been able to increase its product portfolio without increasing headcount.

By changing the size and expanding the number of their reactions, Amyris is now developing a new yeast strain every 2.5 minutes. These strains serve as tiny microbial factories, each working to produce new chemicals by fermentation. With a fermentation capacity of 2 million liters, Amyris is changing the way it does business and rethinking the impact of miniaturization on productivity and pipelines.

Also in the webinar, Labcyte’s Jefferson Lai provides a quick look at improvements in synthetic biology and next-generation sequencing. He describes how acoustic liquid handling is used to scale down and miniaturize assays, ideal for lowering costs of both reagents and enzymes.

We hope you have a chance to watch!

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