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Synthetic biology is evolving rapidly, with advances in genetic engineering creating new living organisms within weeks.

Now, it’s possible to produce and test new biological systems and organisms in high throughput using laboratory automation solutions.

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Tab 01 / Application Fields

Success stories from start-ups
and big pharma partnering with Tecan

A wide range of companies – from start-ups to established pharma players – have been making advances in synthetic biology to fulfil the needs of a growing global population.

From agriculture and food production to energy generation, material fabrication and drug development, our knowhow and automation support the development of new synthetic biology applications, helping to create many success stories along the way.

Removing a major bottleneck in SynBio

Ribbon Biolabs’ platform for automated high throughput production of long DNA will help to overcome the limited availability of synthetic DNA.


World-class enzyme development

Roal Oy in Rajamäki, Finland, has automated large parts of its enzyme discovery and screening activities, to help accelerate and optimize product development.


From strain development to purification of enzymes

Italian company BiCT – Biological and Chemical Technologies – has implemented chromatography workflows on a liquid handling platform to enable rapid simultaneous screening of biological products.


Algae in the next generation of materials

Checkerspot, a start-up from California, USA, uses algae fermentation to produce novel bio-based oils for materials in the outdoor recreational sector, improving sustainability in the industry.


Tab 02 / Genetic Engineering​

Standarized design and production of components

The ability to synthesize DNA sequences from scratch, together with technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, is the foundation of synthetic biology, enabling the targeted introduction of novel genetic sequences into living cells.

The design, creation, and screening of newly developed biosystems require platforms that deliver precision, robustness, and speed to provide sufficient throughput.

High throughput plasmid production

Synthetic biology requires the production of many complex genetic constructs – such as signaling and metabolic pathways, regulatory circuits or minimal genomes – to find the ideal combinations. Automation is indispensable for synthetic biology approaches, helping to massively increase the throughput and reproducibility of screening studies.

That’s why we offer a genetic engineering platform that can deliver the required speed and accuracy for just about any synthetic biology challenge.

Scaling up this process on a robotic system also gives us higher throughput and repeatability, without the variability inherent in manual procedures.​

Dr Jonathan Rabb, researcher at MIT

​Reproducible transfection and expression

Tecan workstations have a proven track record for reproducible automated transfection, helping to optimize the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9 or RNAi screening assays using a variety of transfection methods.

Use automation to eliminate human error across the entire workflow for expensive expression systems. Combine automated genetic engineering with integrated cell culture systems capable of checking cell vitality and confluency.

We offer a suite of automation solutions that helps to optimize reagent and cell preparation for a robust expression system.

High throughput clone selection

Add a Spark® Cyto to your genetic engineering platform and use automation to identify your desired clones faster.

The Spark Cyto microplate reader offers live cell imaging and real-time cytometry with included predefined applications for easily assessing transfection efficiency and reporter activity based on standard fluorometric and luminometric detection, as well as fluorescence-based cell imaging.

With Tecan’s genetic engineering platform, you can customize the automated construction of your synthetic biology system.

Tab 03 / Selection and Expression​

Automate time-consuming,
labor-intensive tasks for rapid progress

Automating product testing is essential for enhancing the throughput and reliability of synthetic biology workflows. Let us accelerate your research with an automated solution to address your specific bottleneck or configure a flexible platform that you can adjust to your changing needs.

Flexible testing platform

Complex synthetic systems require multiple testing methods, making automation essential to reliably explore different approaches. Tecan offers a flexible solution for high throughput testing, helping to accelerate your research while improving reproducibility and accuracy.

Automate your ‘omics’ sample prep to go from testing just a few samples a week to hundreds a day. Our solution streamlines your entire workflow, from protein purification to enzyme activity read outs.

As we test thousands of different mutations, automated high throughput screening is the key to our success.

Jose Miguel Seoane, researcher in the biotechnology department at Repsol’s Madrid Technology Center.

Efficient colony plating and picking

Combine effortless and reliable plating and picking of bacteria, fungi, plant, and mammalian cell colonies.

Designed specifically for Tecan’s liquid handling platforms, the PetriPlater™ and Pickolo™ Colony-Picker from SciRobotics can be seamlessly integrated with upstream and downstream synthetic biology workflows, including NAP, PCR set-up and protein purification.


Product purification and clean-up

Your synthetic products need desalting, purifying, and cleaning up before testing. Automate your SPE workflows to increase reliability and cut processing times.

The Resolvex® A200 positive pressure system enables semi-automated processing of single columns or 96-well plates, allowing the accurate delivery of a range of solvents, from deionized water to hexane. Integrate the Resolvex A200 onto Tecan liquid handling platforms to benefit from a complete, hands-free sample preparation and product testing solution.

Quantitative assay

Creating new organisms necessitates the need to characterize these new life forms at the molecular level.

Tecan’s portfolio of detection solutions allows you to add ELISA testing, enzyme screening and RNAseq to your automated workflow.

Tab 04 / Screening & Testing​

Streamline enzyme production, screening, and testing

Modifying prokaryotic cells to generate novel enzymes with new abilities, or producing specific products more efficiently, are common procedures in synthetic biology. High throughput transformation, enzyme screening and testing are therefore key to process optimization.

High throughput enzyme screening platform

We offer streamlined automation of transformation protocols for bacteria and yeast or other fungi, as well as walkaway enzymatic screening and testing, with integrated culture incubators, readers, and sample tracking options.

Scheduling of complex workflows

The integrated scheduler software allows you to automatically schedule culture maintenance and density measurements, transformations, enzymatic screening, and testing to meet your workflow requirements.

This streamlined process not only enhances your productivity, but also provides a new level of standardization.

Automated data handling with LIMS integration

Never lose track of a clone again with automated sample tracking. The cryo-preservation of your clones can be fully automated, then you can easily find and retrieve the clone that has the best potential based on your enzymatic test results.

Unlock the power of synthetic biology by standardizing your workflow and boosting your repeatability and productivity with Tecan automation solutions.

Tab 05 / Literature

Application Notes

The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the University of Montreal established a reliable, fully automated cloning workflow on a Freedom EVO® workstation. This system performs fully automated multi-fragment DNA assembly, customized plating in ANSI/SLAS-format plates, colony picking and PCR set-up – as well as agar plate preparation – allowing the group to greatly increase the throughput of its experiments.

Spanish energy producer Repsol relies on two Freedom EVO® platforms for its research into alternative energy sources.

Tecan Journal Articles

Extended periods of walkaway operation are essential to the work carried out by Spanish energy producer Repsol, which relies on two Freedom EVO® platforms and Tecan’s 350 μl nested liquid handling disposable tips for its research into alternative energy sources.

Baked to perfection
[TJ 01/2013]

Puratos is using a Freedom EVO® 200 workstation to aid the development of novel enzymes for use in the baking industry. By automating enzyme screening and characterization, the Company is able to increase throughput and productivity, as well as improving quality control testing.

Reprogramming Nature
[TJ 03/2012]

Researchers in the Synthetic Biology Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using a Freedom EVO® workstation to aid the development of genetic circuits. By automating the laborious liquid handling protocols, the platform has increased throughput from just a few samples to hundreds of experiments a day.

Automation with the Freedom EVO system and SciRobotics' Pickolo™ colony picker has revolutionized the gene cloning and colony picking workflow at Evogene'slaboratory, allowing time efficient and reliable tracking of cloning processes andenabling scientists to increase the yearly production of clones.

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Application Notes
Fully integrated plating and colony picking for synthetic biology workflows

The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) established a reliable...

Colony picking – fully automated screening of fungi

Spanish energy producer Repsol relies on two Freedom EVO® platforms for its research into alternative energy sources.