A microfluidic oligonucleotide synthesizer

  • Lee C
  • Snyder T
  • Quake S
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De novo gene and genome synthesis enables the design of any sequence without the requirement of a pre-existing template as in traditional genetic engineering methods. The ability to mass produce synthetic genes holds great potential for biological research, but widespread availability of de novo DNA constructs is currently hampered by their high cost. In this work, we describe a microfluidic platform for parallel solid phase synthesis of oligonucleotides that can greatly reduce the cost of gene synthesis by reducing reagent consumption (by 100-fold) while maintaining a approximately 100 pmol synthesis scale so there is no need for amplification before assembly. Sixteen oligonucleotides were synthesized in parallel on this platform and then successfully used in a ligation-mediated assembly method to generate DNA constructs approximately 200 bp in length.

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