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Automated DNA synthesis in the spotlight at SLAS

March 10, 2021

The Codex DNA team was delighted to participate in this year’s SLAS annual conference, held by the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. While our favorite part of the virtual event was getting to interact with the many attendees who visited our booth in the digital exhibit hall, it was also a huge honor to have our BioXp™ 3250 system named as a finalist for the event’s prestigious New Product Award.

Laboratory automation is near and dear to the Codex DNA mission of empowering scientists to build biology. Our BioXp™ system takes methods that are normally time-consuming and laborious — including cloning and assembly — and automates them in a benchtop instrument that can be run with the push of a button. This automated approach gives scientists two key benefits: first, higher-quality and more reliable DNA constructs; and second, the ability to spend more time focused on the science instead of on tedious wet lab techniques.

We believe that automating these kinds of scientific processes leads to stronger research, more useful translational data, and faster development of clinically needed vaccines and therapies. Our commitment to this mission is what gets us excited about our work every day.

That’s what brought us to the SLAS meeting, where we enjoyed the opportunity to see talks from other people who share our passion for faster, more reproducible science. We were also selected to present a poster about streamlining variant library construction for nanobody-based vaccine development. Nanobodies — also known as heavy-chain antibodies — are much smaller than traditional antibodies and are promising as biotherapeutics.

In the poster, we reported on the workflow used in a collaboration with scientists at Ghent University. To streamline variant construction for nanobody development, we helped the team replace manual cloning methods with the automated BioXp™ system. That shift allowed them to build a total of 30 variants in a single overnight run; the instrument directly assembled and cloned the constructs into their custom vector. This process saved the team an estimated month of development time and led to constructs with higher fidelity.

Thanks to all of the SLAS attendees who took time out of their busy schedules to visit our booth and talk to us about how the BioXp™ system could make a difference in their research.

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