Synthetic biology

Enabling highly accurate, fast DNA/RNA production

The challenge

The ability to create nucleic acids directly from base pairs is increasingly important for genetic engineering in the medical, agriculture and fermentation industries. Recombinant technologies such as CRISPR and automated biofabs make it possible to custom build industrially useful novel organisms and develop individualized cell therapies.

Leverage our expertise

The speed and accuracy of DNA and RNA production can be increased by semiconductor-based electrochemical synthesis and analysis of the nucleic acids. Integrating both of these stages on-chip allows for real-time quality control of the sequences produced, helping to reduce overall error rate.

Imec offers the advanced chip fabrication processes necessary to make on-chip synthesis and sequencing possible. We also have the IP and expertise to integrate silicon electronics and biosensors with microfluidic, optical and nanophotonic structures including nanopores and waveguides. This enables highly multiplexed synthesis for increased throughput. And by leveraging our expertise in chip design and miniaturization, we are opening the door to individual monitoring of each of the hundreds of thousands of synthesis wells on a device to further reduce error rates in parallel DNA / RNA production.

We are also starting to apply the same techniques and technologies to the emerging field of spatial transcriptomics in which we aim to provide the tools for next generation in situ tissue sequencing.

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