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Synthesis and cell-free cloning of DNA libraries using programmable microfluidics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Birgit Koch, Professor Natalio KrasnogorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Microfluidics may revolutionize our ability to write synthetic DNA by addressing several fundamental limitations associated with generating novel genetic constructs. Here we report the first de novo synthesis and cell-free cloning of custom DNA libraries in sub-microliter reaction droplets using programmable digital microfluidics. Specifically, we developed Programmable Order Polymerization (POP), Microfluidic Combinatorial Assembly of DNA (M-CAD) and Microfluidic In-vitro Cloning (MIC) and applied them to de novo synthesis, combinatorial assembly and cell-free cloning of genes, respectively. Proof-of-concept for these methods was demonstrated by programming an autonomous microfluidic system to construct and clone libraries of yeast ribosome binding sites and bacterial Azurine, which were then retrieved in individual droplets and validated. The ability to rapidly and robustly generate designer DNA molecules in an autonomous manner should have wide application in biological research and development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ben Yehezkel T, Rival A, Raz O, Cohen R, Marx Z, Camara M, Dubern JF, Koch B, Heeb S, Krasnogor N, Delattre C, Shapiro E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nucleic Acids Research

Year: 2016

Volume: 44

Issue: 4

Pages: e35-e35

Print publication date: 29/02/2016

Online publication date: 19/10/2015

Acceptance date: 03/10/2015

Date deposited: 07/11/2016

ISSN (print): 0305-1048

ISSN (electronic): 1362-4962

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv1087


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Funder referenceFunder name
265505European Union (EU) FP7 Information and Communication (ICT) program for Future Emerging Technologies (FET), CADMAD Grant