Collaboration to Develop MEMS for DNA Synthesis
Oct 10 2018 Read 225 Times
Cambridge-based Evonetix and Dutch company LioniX International (Enschede), have formed a partnership to scale up production of prototype microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) for DNA synthesis. LioniX will use common silicon processing techniques and materials to manufacture a novel thermally addressable silicon array, which will enable Evonetix to control de novo DNA synthesis using its synergistic thermal control chemistry for delivery of to deliver high-throughput assembly of high-fidelity gene-length DNA at scale.
Dr Matthew Hayes, Chief Technology Officer at Evonetix, said: “We are excited to be working with LioniX International to develop our silicon array that will be a crucial enabler of Evonetix’s revolutionary DNA synthesis technology. Most existing technologies physically isolate the different oligonucleotides during synthesis in a well. In contrast, our array operates in a continuous flow of liquid with virtual wells made by independently controlled temperature islands. The extremely low effective volume of these virtual wells minimises reagent consumption and therefore cost, whilst the flexibility afforded by the lack of physical boundaries enables innovative synthesis and assembly processes, which are ultimately the key to our ability to synthesise long DNA fragments.”
Dr Andrew Ferguson, Head of Physics at Evonetix, said: “The key innovation in this approach is the realisation of a thermal insulator that provides a controlled, anisotropic thermal resistance. We have engineered a novel structured material that achieves this and can be manufactured by LioniX International using a modified MEMs process.”
Albert Prak, Group Leader MEMs at LioniX International, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Evonetix to develop this technology and have been able to use our MEMs and microfluidic processing expertise to realise a demanding and innovative design. We have been able to assist Evonetix with both process design and prototype manufacture.”
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