alexa Synthetic Biology Innovation Will Spur More Efficient Chemical Engineering | Open Access Journals
ISSN: 2157-7048
Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology
Like us on:
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700+ peer reviewed, Open Access Journals that operates with the help of 50,000+ Editorial Board Members and esteemed reviewers and 1000+ Scientific associations in Medical, Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Technology and Management Fields.
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Conferenceseries Events with over 600+ Conferences, 1200+ Symposiums and 1200+ Workshops on
Medical, Pharma, Engineering, Science, Technology and Business

Synthetic Biology Innovation Will Spur More Efficient Chemical Engineering

Devin Leake1 and Kevin Munnelly2
1Vice president of R&D, Gen9, USA
2CEO, Gen9, USA
Corresponding Author : Devin Leake
Gen9, Inc., 500 Technology Square
First Floor, Cambridge
MA 02139, USA
Tel: 617-250-8433
Fax: 815-425-874
E-mail: [email protected]
Received November 04, 2013; Accepted November 28, 2013; Published November 30, 2013
Citation: Leake D, Munnelly K (2013) Synthetic Biology Innovation Will Spur More Efficient Chemical Engineering. J Chem Eng Process Technol 4:178. doi: 10.4172/2157-7048.1000178
Copyright: © 2013 Leake D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Related article at
DownloadPubmed DownloadScholar Google

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology


Synthetic biology is a new tool in chemical engineering that has already shown success in developing bio-based alternatives to chemicals typically derived from petroleum. A recent technical advance in synthetic biology stands to make this the design and development method of choice for chemical engineers.

In the last few years, chemical engineers have begun to take advantage of a promising new approach known as synthetic biology. This emerging method most often uses rational design togenetically modify an organism to produce bio-based components critical to building chemicals, offering the industry a tantalizing new path to chemical processing that reduces reliance on petroleum-based materials. However, progress in this area has been limited by tedious, manual methods for generating the synthetic DNA needed to enable this research and development. But recently a new, industrial-scale synthetic DNA technology is enabling rapid, large-scale experimentation to develop chemicals rationally, efficiently, and effectively.
Early synthetic biology-driven successes in the chemical engineering field have sparked a great deal of interest and, more tangibly, research investment into this area. Small startup companies are teaming up with big players in chemical processing to make the most of the tremendous potential.
Just this year, for example, a startup company called Genomatica announced the first commercial-scale production of bio-based 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a high-value chemical used as a solvent and in the manufacture of plastics and fibers such as Spandex. The company used a fermentation process with a biologically engineered version of E. coli to manufacture the chemical. In five weeks, the company which has partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle produced 5 million pounds of BDO, worth nearly $5 million. The annual demand for BDO, which is typically manufactured with petroleum, is in the billions of pounds. Converting to a bio-based form of the chemical offers not just a significant market, but also the opportunity to dramatically lessen the related use of petroleum.
Another small company, Cobalt Technologies, recently completed a production campaign of bio-based n-butanol, a product commonly used in surface coatings like paints. The chemical was processed at a fermentation scale of more than 100,000 liters and at lower cost than comparable production of petroleum-based n-butanol. Crucial to the process is the selection of the optimal microbial strain to perform the fermentation step; the company was able to test various strains for efficient sugar utilization to find the one best-suited to the task at industrial scale.
This type of microbial screening can be performed rapidly and effectively by using synthetic biology, which allows engineers to investigate factors in designing, building, and testing chemical production. Currently, however, scientists working on projects using synthetic biology are hindered by limitations of the gene synthesis technology required to build DNA constructs involved in these efforts. Existing methods for stitching pieces of DNA together to form longer constructs are error-prone and tedious. Moreover, the process is not scalable, which keeps costs and the need for manual intervention high.
To address these limitations, academic scientists developed a new approach to gene synthesis that improves the quality, accuracy, and length of synthetic DNA. Based on research from George Church at Harvard, Drew Endy at Stanford, and Joseph Jacobson at MIT, this next-gen gene synthesis combined microchip oligosynthesis [1,2], high-fidelity amplification from complex DNA pools [3-5], enzymemediated error correction and assembly [6]. Gen9, a startup company based in Cambridge, Mass, is continuing to advance this technology by improving error correction and assembly to enable more diverse gene synthesis at longer lengths. Moreover, Gen9 is commercializing this biofabrication platform for massively parallel gene synthesis, offering lower-cost, more accurate DNA constructs.
Unlike other means of building DNA, the Gen9 manufacturing process permitsadditional capacity at an exponential scale. This BioFab® platform can generate tens of thousands of DNA constructs each year; the company currently offers clonal, base-perfect 3 kilobase constructs and plans to extend this range to 10 kilobases by the end of 2013. This capacity will enable chemical engineers to use longer, higher-accuracy, lower-cost gene constructs for testing genetic designs from genes to whole engineered pathways than can be done with current gene synthesis technologies.
This next-generation gene synthesis, and the corresponding radically increased capacity, will serve as a powerful turning point in synthetic biology. Ready access to long, reliable DNA constructs will allow chemical engineers to conduct rapid building followed by high throughput testing and subsequent redesigning of microbes to identify the best performers for any given process. With this new innovation, engineers will be able to introduce synthetic biology at an industrial scale to pipelines dedicated to developing bio-based chemicals.

Select your language of interest to view the total content in your interested language
Post your comment

Share This Article

Recommended Conferences

Article Usage

  • Total views: 11841
  • [From(publication date):
    December-2013 - Oct 24, 2017]
  • Breakdown by view type
  • HTML page views : 8064
  • PDF downloads :3777

Review summary

  1. Julia Daniel
    Posted on Nov 08 2016 at 8:35 pm
    Hi, Wishing you all the best for Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics 2016! Would you be interested in reaching out to industry based decision makers using e-mails and telephone? List contains: Company Name, Contact Name, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Title, Address, Street, City, Zip code, State, Country, Telephone, Fax number, Employee size, Revenue size, SIC code, Industry type, URL, Email address. We do have all industry databases, Email Campaign, Data Appending and Web Services. Industry Specific Lists: IT, Medical and Healthcare, Homecare and Hospice, Oil and Gas, Mining , Utility, Industrial, Hospitality, Educational, Retail, Commercial, Government, Construction, Safety and Security, Interior design, Telecom, Signage, Technology Users, Audio & Video, Manufacturing, , Transportation, Engineering, Natural Gas, Fitness and Health, Chemical, Environment, Food and Beverage, Packaging, Education, Retail, Aerospace, Defense, Automotive and many more.. Kindly let us know your criteria and we will be more than happy to assist you with counts and pricing. Awaiting your response. Thanks, Julia Daniel Data Consultant [email protected] To unsubscribe kindly reply with "Leave Out" in the subject line.

Post your comment

captcha   Reload  Can't read the image? click here to refresh

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri, Food, Aqua and Veterinary Science Journals

Dr. Krish

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Clinical and Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Katie Wilson

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science and Health care Journals

Andrea Jason

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics and Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

immun[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Informatics Journals

Stephanie Skinner

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Material Sciences Journals

Rachle Green

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Mathematics and Physics Journals

Jim Willison

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

John Behannon

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version