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Immuno partnering with iGEM students on their way towards gold medal category

Guest blog written by Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team

Immuno Diagnostic Oy supporting student-led research group

We have done a very exciting collaboration with Immuno Diagnostic Oy and Telesis Bio, where we have been given the opportunity to test out the new DNA, mRNA (and protein) synthesizing machine called BioXp 3250.

It’s been a really exciting time for us. As a student-led research group, we have been working on a therapeutic tool to fight biofilm in chronic wounds. Chronic wounds are often tricky to keep clean, and bacteria can gather very easily at the wound and form a biofilm. This biofilm can then prevent antibiotics from accessing the bacteria, which can lead to a severe infection. We hope to show how our designed ankyrin repeats proteins (DARPins) could prevent the signalling between the bacteria, and thereby also prevent the biofilm formation.

For this, we needed to synthesize our DARPin DNA fragments, and that’s when we got in contact with Immuno Diagnostic and Telesis Bio. Our dry-lab team has done work on our DARPin library, and that work resulted in a list of about 50 DARPins in total. We then chose 32 of these DARPin sequences for the synthesis process. We discussed the process and our project plan with people from Immuno Diagnostic and Telesis Bio and they told us about BioXp and its possible applications. We talked about the possibility of building a library with the instrument or possibly directly synthesizing mRNA. We also met with Immuno Diagnostic’s NGS product manager Anni in person to see a BioXp demo run while talking more about the different possibilities of collaboration.

We also got to talk with field application scientists from Telesis Bio to discuss what would be the best project design for us based on our goals and our budget. After considering all options, we concluded that synthetising DNA would be the best way to go. We got a lot of help from the specialists on how to work with their portal and the whole process of inserting the sequences was very easy.

After the BioXp and reagents arrived here in Otaniemi, we started our run. The machine was really easy to set up and we got help with the setup of the real run. Anni was here onsite to help with the placements of the modules and Telesis Bio FAS was online to help with any questions we had. The run took about 14h for us and was ready when we came to work the next morning. We were really surprised by the easiness of both the set-up and removing all modules. We stored our produced fragments in the freezer until we had the time a few days later to do the gel run to confirm that the machine had produced the right-sized fragments. The support from both companies has been a huge help as we still are only a student-run research group and don’t have years of experience.

We want to thank both Immuno Diagnostic Oy and Telesis Bio for all the support and help they have given us along this process to achieve our goals.

Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team 2022

* Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team reached the gold medal category in the iGEM Grand Jamboree arranged in Paris in the end of October 2022.