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Fast, cost-effective, and high-throughput solutions for DNA assembly

Echo Liquid Handlers from Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and gene fragments from IDT improve DNA assembly

Webinar summary: In the first part of the webinar, Dr Soheila Beck of Beckman Coulter Life Sciences describes Echo liquid handling systems and how they enable rapid and cost-effective high-throughput DNA assembly. In the second part of the webinar, Tom Speedy of Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) describes several products, including various types of gene fragments. Some of these gene fragments are produced using Echo systems, and can furthermore be used in gene assembly experiments that use these systems. Tom additionally describes how Echo systems and several IDT solutions contribute to environmental sustainability.

Part 1. Dr Soheila Beck, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

DNA and gene assembly have applications in many areas including vaccine development and antibody production. Rapid assembly of thousands of DNA fragment combinations entails complex networks of genetic materials in a Design-Build-Test-Learn cycle. Such a large setup creates many points of failure. Therefore, a solution is needed that can streamline the workflow and enable precise, rapid transfer of reagents and fragments from any well to any other well. Beckman Coulter Life Sciences offers the Echo 525 Acoustic Liquid Handler. This acoustic, tip-less, non-contact liquid handler dispenses volumes as low as 25 nL accurately and precisely, with a fast flow rate of 6 µL/sec. This reduces the assembly and validation reaction volumes needed, thus decreasing costs while maintaining, or even improving, data quality.

Echo systems have a transducer that generates low-energy ultrasound focused on the meniscus of the liquid in the source well, to shoot 25 nL droplets to the chosen well on the destination plate. These systems use Dynamic Fluid Analysis to adjust the transfer parameters in real time for a variety of fluids. The software is user-friendly, enabling users to transfer liquid from any well in the source plate to any well in the destination plate. There are other versions of the Echo that transfer as little as 2.5 nL of DMSO and aqueous solutions.

In the latter portion of her talk, Dr Beck describes a gene assembly workflow, showing how the Echo system makes improvements in data quality, time, and cost in this process.

Part 2. Tom Speedy, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT)

In the second part of the webinar, Tom Speedy describes how IDT has become the industry’s leader in the manufacture of oligonucleotides, double-stranded DNA, and many other related products. IDT supports the Design-Build-Test-Learn cycle at the “build” segment, through a variety of product and service offerings. Tom’s talk also emphasizes continued efforts at IDT to enable sustainable solutions through integration and automation.

Tom explains how double-stranded DNA can be customized to a user’s exact specifications and how custom gene synthesis works. For synthetic biology and other molecular biology purposes, Tom introduces our new product, gBlocks™ HiFi Gene Fragments. He describes the similarities and differences between gBlocks HiFi Gene Fragments, eBlocks™ Gene Fragments, and classical gBlocks Gene Fragments. His description of these products will help users choose which gene fragments are best for a given application. Tom goes on to describe automated gene assembly using an Echo Liquid Handler. He also discusses how IDT produces synthetic biology products using the Echo systems, saving over 3 million plastic pipette tips per year. He concludes by mentioning several other approaches that IDT uses to minimize environmental impact and improve sustainability.

To learn more, view the webinar on demand:

Webinar: Fast, cost-effective, and high-throughput solutions for DNA assembly, watch now

Published Jul 23, 2020