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An automated and programmable microfluidic platform for combinatorial gene…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
HJ Science & Technology, Inc.
2929 Seventh Street, Suite 120 Berkeley, CA 94710-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: An automated and programmable microfluidic platform for combinatorial gene assembly and biosynthesis applications
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: D13PC00039
Award Amount: $99,912.00


HJ Science & Technology (HJS & T) and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) propose to develop an automated, software-controlled, programmable, low-cost, and compact platform capable of running rapid and complex bioengineering processes and optimization of new biomanufacturing systems. Our approach combines the microfluidic automation technology of HJS & T with the novel synthetic biology technologies of combinatorial gene library generation, host transfection, and gene product screening at JBEI. Compared with conventional approaches, the integrated microfluidic technology has these advantages: 1) on-chip automation, eliminating the need for bulky and expensive sample handling robots, 2) small volume, reducing reagent consumption, and 3) multifunctional integration on a microchip level. In Phase I, we will establish the feasibility of the microfluidic automation technology by performing 1) construction of a combinatorial library of Green Fluorescent Protein and Red Fluorescent Protein gene expression cassettes, and 2) subsequent transformation into yeast cells/chromosomal integration and screening of expression products, on the same microfluidic chip in a fully automated format. In Phase II, we will realize a fully automated and programmable platform for the biological design-build-test cycle that encompasses 4 basic steps: 1) software DNA design; 2) DNA synthesis and assembly; 3) transfection/chromosomal integration and product screening; and 4) real-time feedback and control.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Pollack
Chief Technology Officer
(925) 766-3997

Business Contact:

Hong Jiao
(408) 464-3873
Small Business Information at Submission:

HJ Science & Technology, Inc.
187 Saratoga Avenue Santa Clara, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 452069168
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, CA 94720-
Contact: Susan M. Hedley
Contact Phone: (510) 486-6273