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Synthetic Biology

COMPLETE WORKFLOW SOLUTIONS, FROM CLONING TO EXPRESSION PROFILING

Synthetic biology takes genetic engineering to the next level, opening up opportunities to speed up a wide range of processes, from drug development to designing new plant traits to artificial flavorings.

Tecan’s automated solutions cover the complete synthetic biology workflow, from gene expression profiling and next generation sequencing to cloning of the desired genes into carrier organisms and subsequent protein expression profiling and characterization.

Synthetic biology is evolving rapidly, with advances in NGS technology leading to the genomes of more and more species being decoded. The ability to synthesize DNA sequences from scratch, together with new technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, is now enabling the targeted introduction of DNA sequences into living cells.

Scalable nucleic acid purification and PCR clean-up

Whether you are looking at RNA expression levels in eukaryotic cells or plasmid/genomic DNA extraction from bacteria, Tecan has a range of flexible automation solutions, allowing you to process from 1 to 96 samples using either an eight- or 96-channel pipetting arm.

A touchscreen interface can help to guide users through instrument set-up for all nucleic acid purification and PCR clean-up protocols, increasing process security and minimizing training needs.

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PCR set-up

The Freedom EVOware® PCR Wizard offers straightforward automation of PCR reaction set-up using the Freedom EVO® workstation’s high precision air displacement pipetting arm. This wizard simplifies reaction set-up for a wide range of applications – from endpoint, real-time and multiplex PCR protocols to sequencing, genotyping and gene expression methods, as well as pathogen and mutagenesis detection.

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Tecan Group Integration Flyers

cDNA Synthesis, PCR and Transfection. Genomics applications for fast antibody production

Cloning, Protein Expression and Purification. Molecular Biology workstation for 11 different assay types.

The ability to standardize and automate the design and production of components – and even entire organisms – is at the technological heart of synthetic and systems biology, enabling high throughput reprogramming of the activities and capabilities of bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cells.

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Reproducible transfection and expression

Automate all the time-consuming and laborious processes associated with assembling constructs and transfecting cells, from preparation of cells and transfection mixes to incubation of the transfection plate.

Tecan’s workstations have a proven track record for reproducible automated transfection, helping to optimize efficiency for CRISPR/Cas9 or RNAi screening assays using a variety of transfection methods, including lipofectamine, calcium phosphate, polyethylenimine (PEI) and Lonza’s Nucleofector® 96-well Shuttle™ system.

Scaling up this process on a robotic system also gives us higher throughput and repeatability, without the variability inherent in manual procedures.

Dr Jonathan Babb, a researcher at MIT

Efficient colony picking

Automate the most labor-intensive and error-prone steps of your cloning and cell line development workflow with effortless and reliable picking of bacteria, fungi, algae, hybridoma and mammalian cell colonies. Designed specifically for Tecan’s liquid handling platforms, the Pickolo™ Colony-Picker from SciRobotics can be seamlessly integrated with up- and downstream experiments like NAP, PCR set-up or protein purification.

Key benefits

  • Fast performance – pick up to 800 colonies per hour on Freedom EVO and up to 1000 colonies per hour on Fluent
  • Flexible colony selection criteria by color, size and more
  • Intuitive picking profile creation – just click on the colonies you like best
  • Flexible source plates – Petri dishes, SLAS formats.
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Overall, automation has given us a dramatically higher throughput. We can now routinely perform 48 or even 96 DNA assembly reactions from start to finish in the time it used to take us to do about 12 manually. Importantly, automation of our cloning and DNA assembly workflow has improved accuracy and reproducibility.

Almer van Der Sloot, Senior Research Associate, MIT

A broad range of innovations and technologies are contributing to the rapid progress in synthetic and systems biology. These include robotics-based instruments to automate time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks, such as colony picking and screening large numbers of newly designed biological components to select the best candidates for further studies.

As we test thousands of different mutations, automated high throughput screening is the key to our success.

Jose Miguel Seoane, a researcher in the biotechnology department at Repsol’s Madrid Technology Center.

Reliable clone selection

Use automation to screen pools of randomly generated cell lines faster. From plate replication, assessing single cell clone origin and clone picking to ELISA-based expression screening, protein quantification and protein characterization, automation can be used to find the optimal clones quicker, reducing development times and fulfilling regulatory requirements for data and process documentation.

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Verify edited genes

Hit verification from experiments with pooled CRISPR/Cas9 libraries requires deconvolutions by NGS. Arrayed libraries enable more rapid validation of hits, and can make use of existing high throughput screening infrastructure – such as high content analysis or reporter gene assays – to validate edited genes.

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NGS protocols
Fragment Analyzer

Application Notes

The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the University of Montreal established a reliable, fully automated cloning workflow on a Freedom EVO® workstation. This system performs fully automated multi-fragment DNA assembly, customized plating in ANSI/SLAS-format plates, colony picking and PCR set-up – as well as agar plate preparation – allowing the group to greatly increase the throughput of its experiments.

Spanish energy producer Repsol relies on two Freedom EVO® platforms for its research into alternative energy sources.

Tecan Journal Articles

Extended periods of walkaway operation are essential to the work carried out by Spanish energy producer Repsol, which relies on two Freedom EVO® platforms and Tecan’s 350 μl nested liquid handling disposable tips for its research into alternative energy sources.

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Puratos is using a Freedom EVO® 200 workstation to aid the development of novel enzymes for use in the baking industry. By automating enzyme screening and characterization, the Company is able to increase throughput and productivity, as well as improving quality control testing.

Researchers in the Synthetic Biology Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using a Freedom EVO® workstation to aid the development of genetic circuits. By automating the laborious liquid handling protocols, the platform has increased throughput from just a few samples to hundreds of experiments a day.

Automation with the Freedom EVO system and SciRobotics' Pickolo™ colony picker has revolutionized the gene cloning and colony picking workflow at Evogene'slaboratory, allowing time efficient and reliable tracking of cloning processes andenabling scientists to increase the yearly production of clones.