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Evonetix, LioniX International Partner to Produce Prototype DNA Synthesis Systems

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – UK-based gene synthesis company Evonetix and LioniX International, a provider of customized microsystem solutions, said today that they plan to collaborate in the production of prototype microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) for DNA synthesis.

The collaboration will focus on the development of a bespoke silicon array to enable high-throughput production of high-fidelity gene-length DNA. LioniX will use semiconductor microfabrication techniques and materials to manufacture the novel, thermally addressable silicon array, which Evonetix will use to synthesize de novo DNA using its synergistic thermal control, the companies said.

The array will be optimized to have reaction rates that are highly dependent on temperature, at each of the 10,000 miniaturized reaction sites, allowing for massive parallelism in the DNA synthesis process and therefore a very high throughput.

"We are excited to be working with LioniX International to develop our silicon array that will be a crucial enabler of Evonetix's revolutionary DNA synthesis technology," Evonetix Chief Technology Officer Matthew Hayes said in a statement. "Most existing technologies physically isolate the different oligonucleotides during synthesis in a well. In contrast, our array operates in a continuous flow of liquid with virtual wells made by independently controlled temperature islands. The extremely low effective volume of these virtual wells minimizes reagent consumption and therefore cost, whilst the flexibility afforded by the lack of physical boundaries enables innovative synthesis and assembly processes, which are ultimately the key to our ability to synthesize long DNA fragments."