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How DNA Synthesis Works & How We Save You Time & Money

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DNA synthesis diagram

Oligonucleotide synthesizers give scientists the ability to create custom nucleic acid samples for various applications in science.

Biotech diagram

DNA molecules are some of the most important molecules in biology and their creation, both natural and artificial, is studied and widely used in many scientific fields.

In general, natural DNA synthesis occurs by first having the gene split and create a second identical DNA strand in a process called DNA replication. Enzymes unwind the DNA strand and split it apart, creating a replication fork. When the cell divides, it creates a duplicate genome, ensuring the new cell has a complete set of chromosomes.

Specific proteins are then used to aid in the replication and synthesis of the new genetic strands. These helper proteins are called primers. RNA primers are the only naturally occurring primers, however, artificial synthesis can use both RNA and DNA primers.

A major difference between natural and synthetic DNA synthesis is that in natural synthesis the enzymes can only synthesize in one direction whereas artificial synthesis does not have this directional limitation. Additionally, artificial gene synthesis is based on solid-phase DNA Synthesis.

Oligonucleotide synthesis is the artificial chemical process of creating short strands of nucleic acids with specific sequences. Synthetic DNA printing differs from molecular cloning and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) because it does not require a pre-existing gene sequence.

DNA oligo synthesis is done by adding one nucleotide to the end of the desired chain at a time. Each addition is referred to as a synthetic cycle, or the phosphoramidite method, and undergoes four steps:

  1. De-blocking (detritylation)
  2. Coupling
  3. Capping
  4. Oxidation

There are various techniques and applications involved in DNA synthesis that provide high-quality results, some of which will we cover below.

Oligonucleotide Synthesis Techniques, Applications, & Cost

An open hand with a DNA strand coming out of the palm

Making custom gene sequences has helped advance many different fields of science, from biotechnology and microbiology to synthetic biology. DNA synthesizers have made many of the recent advances in synthetic oligonucleotide production possible.

A few other synthesis applications include vaccine research, molecular engineering, designing of new protein functions, and gene expression and therapy.


Synthetic Primer Design

In chemistry, artificially made primers are designed to connect a specific nucleotide to a specific part of the template DNA. During PCR, primer design is used to specify the direction of sequencing or amplification that is occurring.

When oligonucleotides are manufactured, the longer they are, the more likely that a sequencing error occurs. Custom primer designs are used to mitigate this problem by ensuring that only complementary primers are used.

Synthetic siRNA, RNAi, and mRNA

mRNA, or messenger RNA, is a type of ribonucleic acid that is used to build an amino acid sequence that matches with the protein from the gene expression. Without it, protein synthesis would be impossible.

RNAi, or RNA interference, are molecules that target and neutralize mRNA. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a type of small molecule that is important to RNAi. By creating custom mRNA, scientists have been able to study it very closely, as well as develop treatments for cancer and vaccines using synthetic versions.

Additionally, using RNA oligonucleotide synthesis to create custom RNAi and siRNA can help reduce specific gene expressions.

CRISPR

Once thought to only be possible in works of fiction, CRISPR describes a specific DNA sequence that can be used with the Cas9 enzyme to edit genes inside of an organism.

Known as CRISPR-Cas9 technology, this type of gene editing allows scientists to alter, edit, and/or suppress gene expression. This type of gene editing can allow for great advances in DNA fingerprinting, food production, and gene drives.

Biotin Modifiers

Also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that is often used in molecular biology. Biotin is attached to oligonucleotides because of its affinity for streptavidin-protein and avidin, important molecules used in molecular biology.

These biotin-modified oligos, due to their bond with streptavidin, can then be labeled with enzymes or fluorescent dyes and studied. Standard biotin, biotin dT, and biotin-TEG are a few common types of modification.

Antisense Therapy

As our knowledge of disease and infections grows so too does the ways in which we combat them. Antisense therapy and the use of antisense oligonucleotides are one such development used to treat specific genetic disorders and infections.

This type of treatment works by first identifying the specific gene that is associated with the disease, and synthesizing a nucleic acid to bind to that gene’s messenger RNA (mRNA) in order to suppress it. This causes the mRNA to be altered in a way that prevents it from translating the information from the disease’s genes.

Take Huntington’s disease as an example, Huntington genes are present in the patient that has proteins associated with the negative symptoms of Huntington’s. The bad genes then transcribe their genetic code into mRNA which then translates that code, resulting in the negative symptoms of Huntington’s. By treating a patient with antisense oligonucleotides, this final translation step is stopped, and prevents the negative symptoms from manifesting.

Commonly known as gene silencing, antisense gene therapy has also been used to treat specific cancers, Batten disease, HIV/AIDS, and spinal muscular atrophy.

Benchtop DNA Synthesizer Leases to Fit Every Need

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Founder-Friendly Leases

Our lease agreements are founder-friendly and flexible, helping you preserve working capital, strengthen the cash flow of your business, and keep business credit lines open for expansions, staffing, and other crucial operational expenses and business development opportunities.

2-5 Year Lease Lengths

Leases range from 2 to 5 years. Length will depend on several factors, including how long you want to use the equipment, equipment type, and your company’s financial position. These are standard factors leasing companies consider and help us tailor a lease agreement to fit your needs.

Your Choice of Manufacturer

We don’t carry an inventory. This means you’re not limited to a specific set of manufacturers. Instead, you can pick the equipment that aligns with your business goals and preferences. We’ll work with the manufacturer of your choice to get the equipment in your facility as quickly as possible.

Maintenance & Repair Coverage

Bundle preventive maintenance and repair coverage with your lease agreement. You can spread those payments over time. Easily maintain your equipment, minimize the chances something will break down, repair instrumentation quickly, and simplify your payment processes.

End-of-Lease Options

At the end of your lease, you have multiple options. You can either renew the lease at a significantly lower price, purchase the machine outright based on the fair market value of the original pricing, or call it a day and we’ll come the pick up the equipment for you free of charge.

No Loan-Like Terms

Our leases do not include loan-like terms, which can be restrictive or harmful in certain situations. We do not require debt covenants, IP pledges, collateral,  or equity participation. Our goal is to maximize your flexibility. When you lease with us, you’re collaborating with a true business partner.

In-House Underwriting Process

Our underwriting is done in-house. You can expect quicker turnaround, allowing you respond to your equipment needs as they arise. We require less documentation than traditional lenders and financiers and can get the equipment you need in operation more quickly.

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