VIB first in Europe to use DNA printer

Summary

Flemish life science research institute VIB is the first in Europe to use an innovative benchtop DNA printer to accelerate gene research

Breakthrough technology

Flanders’ life sciences research centre VIB is the first in Europe to install and use a DNA printer. The BioX 3200 System allows a biotech company or academic lab to create genes, genetic elements and molecular tools.

VIB scientists will be able to use the system to design and clone genes to answer crucial questions as to their function in biological systems. Specific applications include protein production, antibody library generation and cell engineering.

The BioX 3200, manufactured by California-based SGI-DNA, has been placed in the lab run by Thomas Jacobs in the VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology in Ghent. “The system will fundamentally change the way our research group approaches cloning,” said Dr Jacobs. “It will greatly improve our turnaround time for cloning projects, and will hopefully open up new ways to test the gene editing systems we are developing.”

This acquisition is part of VIB’s Technology Watch Initiative, which implements new and emerging technologies into its labs and other research facilities. Active since 2008, the Technology Watch programme evaluates technology investment opportunities and provides the funding to secure prototype instruments and early-stage technologies. This is useful in high-potential fields such as synthetic biology, DNA sequencing and single-cell analysis.

Photo: Ine Dehandschutter/VIB

Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)

VIB is a government-funded life-science research institute that has helped Flanders become one of the leading bioscience regions in Europe. Its focus is on translating scientific insights into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications.
Open house - Each year, the institute opens its labs across Flanders to thousands of visitors in its open-house Biotech Day.
First - Flemish researchers were the first to unravel the chemical structure and functional meaning of a complete genome.
Mission - The VIB was created to push Flemish life sciences research to the top and to help scientific results foster economic growth.
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