Imec couples with UK startup to give DNA synthesis platform new life

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Synthetic biology company Evonetix is teaming up with the nanotechnology experts at Imec in Leuven. The UK-based startup – which is developing a desktop platform for scalable, high-fidelity and rapid gene synthesis – announced that with the help of Imec, it’s looking to increase the production of its proprietary microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based technology on 200 mm wafers. With this collaboration, Evonetix aims to take the manufacturing of its platform to a commercial scale.

Credit: Evonetix

The novel silicon chip is a key component of Evonetix’s desktop DNA platform, which, once fully developed, will facilitate and enable the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology. The UK company’s technology utilizes a silicon chip, made by MEMS processing, that controls the synthesis of DNA at many thousands of independently controlled reaction sites or ‘pixels’ on the chip surface in a highly parallel fashion. Following synthesis, strands are assembled on-chip into double-stranded DNA in a process that identifies and removes errors, enabling accuracy, scale and speed that’s several orders of magnitude better than conventional approaches.