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/Job opportunities/DNA Synthesis Platform for Long Term Data Storage

DNA Synthesis Platform for Long Term Data Storage

Master projects/internships - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Combining the power of electrochemistry, surface chemistry, and enzymology to drive the next generation of data storage devices.

​DNA has been proposed as a stable medium for long term data storage [1]. Information can be encoded in a succession of nucleotides with high density that can be assembled in situ using optical or electrochemical techniques. Current DNA synthesis methods generally rely on phosphoramidite chemistry, which is relatively slow, inefficient, expensive, and not readily amenable for miniaturization [2]. Novel approaches make use of enzymes, such as the Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), which can efficiently add nucleotides to existing DNA strands in an aqueous environment. However, controlling the rate of nucleotide addition in vitro remains challenging [3]. In this internship, the candidate will explore new methods to locally control the chemical environment required to trigger enzymatic reactions using optical and/or electrochemical means. The successful candidate will encounter a wide range of experimental techniques, including electrochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, surface functionalization, enzymology, and micro- and nano-electrode fabrication.

For this internship, imec is searching for a highly motivated student that is eager to expand their knowledge of electrochemistry, surface chemistry, and enzymology in a nanotechnological setting. The student will be working within the context of an existing project, together with an international team of interdisciplinary researchers. Hence, the ability to communicate fluently in English (spoken and written) is mandatory. We welcome interested students to contact us for more details.

Type of project: Internship

Master's degree: Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Technology

Master Program: Bioscience Engineering, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Physics, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Duration: 6 months

For further information or for application, please contact kherim.willems@imec.be.

Imec allowance will be provided

References:
[1] Ceze, L., Nivala, J. & Strauss, K. Molecular digital data storage using DNA. Nat. Rev. Genet. (2019). doi:10.1038/s41576-019-0125-3
[2] Hughes, R. A. & Ellington, A. D. Synthetic DNA synthesis and assembly: Putting the synthetic in synthetic biology. Cold Spring Harb. Perspect. Biol. 9, (2017).
[3] Lee, H. H., Kalhor, R., Goela, N., Bolot, J. & Church, G. M. Terminator-free template-independent enzymatic DNA synthesis for digital information storage. Nat. Commun. 10, 2383 (2019).

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