At SynBioBeta London, a Maturing Field Garners Industrial Interest


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The Labcyte team was delighted to participate in the recent SynBioBeta meeting held in London. It’s the second year we’ve exhibited at this great event, and it was gratifying to find that even more people there have been using our tools to propel their synthetic biology projects forward.

At this meeting, we noticed more interest in synthetic biology from industrial companies and the investment community — a strong indicator that this field is maturing beyond the academic research lab. There was a tangible sense among attendees that synthetic biology is starting to realize its potential in applications that are truly making a difference in the world, such as pharmaceutical production or environmentally sustainable chemical development. As more and more scientists use the design-build-test approach to create everything from biofuels to cosmetics, it’s clear that synbio-based manufacturing — often using engineered bacteria as miniature factories — is becoming a reality.

One of the advances underlying the growth of synthetic biology has been new technology that makes it possible to assemble and validate synthetic DNA at massive scale with very low costs. Labcyte’s contribution to the field is our Echo platform, a tipless acoustic liquid handling tool that operates at nanoliter scale and drastically reduces reagent use.

Scientists use the Echo platform to perform high-throughput cherry-picking of oligo libraries to create DNA fragments using one-pot assembly techniques, such as Gibson or GoldenGate Assembly. The Echo instrument allows customers to ensure reliable, accurate operation without the risk of cross-contamination that occurs with systems using plastic tips.

Further along in the process, the Echo platform is used again for characterization of the DNA fragments, which can be done with qPCR, NGS, or other techniques. Customers tell us that the system’s ease of use and efficiency make Echo a go-to platform in the synbio experimental pipeline.

We look forward to seeing continued development in this field, and we congratulate the Echo users who presented great results at SynBioBeta London!