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US Navy Awards Xeotron $3M to Build New Oligo Technology

NEW YORK, Feb. 4 - Xeotron has won a $3 million US Navy contract to develop a new system that can assemble long DNA sequences, the company said on Monday.


The system will be designed to produce multi-strands of oligonucleotides. Xeotron hopes that the new system would be able to shorten the process of oligo synthesis to less than 12 hours, which could make it possible to synthesize large DNA segments in roughly 24 hours.


As designed, the system would not require photomask lithography or robotics, the company said.


Xeotron's technology platform combines photochemistry, digital photonics, and microfluidics. The company uses a method of in situ photosynthesis coupled with digital light and photosensitive chemistry in a microfluidic chip to produce large amounts of DNA or peptides.


Xeotron, a Houston-based startup, currently markets chips for cancer-gene expression, HIV genotyping, human gene expression profiling, and drug discovery.


The project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Navy's Office of Special Technology.

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