Maker SynBio: Empowering Biodevelopers with Automation

Will Canine

I have developed a new open, automated, and easy way of creating novel genetic constructs using the OpenTrons robotic lab platform. My goal is to bring synthetic biology to the maker movement and accelerate the development of biotechnology.


Today, it is much easier to design genetic pathways than to prototype and test them. Complicated, finicky, time consuming lab work is one of the biggest barriers to more rapid biotech innovation. An affordable, open synthetic biology automation system is the solution to this problem.

By combining the OpenTrons automation platform, Genomikon DNA prototyping protocol, and Synbiota open science hub, I was able to create such a system. This stack of technologies allows users to design DNA in software, run an automated assembly protocol to produce their plasmid design, and then share it with others. The whole thing costs less than $3000. We are poised to empower biodevelopers everywhere with the power of digitally controlled lab automation!