Oligo synthesizer....

Paul Shinn pshinn at mail1.sas.upenn.edu
Tue May 2 07:51:01 EST 2000

Eric Buxton (buxton at lexgen.com) wrote:
: We are looking at purchasing an oligo synthesizer, and were at first
: considering the latest and greatest from PE, but have now found a
: cheaper higher throughput model from Gene Machines.  Does anyone have
: any experience with either of these instruments, or any others?

    Hi Eric, I think if you talk to GeneMachines, they'll refer you to me
sooner or later.  We own one of their Polyplex oligo synthesizers.  We've
had it since January and it runs pretty well.  We're one of the few
places in the country with one so some little things had to be worked out
here and there.  They are still revising their software because of a few
bugs but the machine does it's job.  It's convenient to have your own on
site synth if you have the need to do that many oligos.  I've made up to
40mers just fine and it does a plate of 96 20mers in about 3 hours.  
I've tweaked the synth protocol to run a few minutes faster and save on 
    Sometimes I do two runs in a day.  If all the reagents are full and
the first and second trityl collections are good, I let it run to
completion without any supervision.  Total hands on time in those cases
is about 1 hour and that's if you need to prepare all your amidites-if
not, then 30 minutes or less.  If you're about to start a second run
immediately after the first one is finished, it takes less than 10
minutes to get going again. 
    You don't have to synth 96 at a time but it does save on reagents
like the argon gas.  It uses the same amount whether you do one oligo or
96.  Currently it costs about $200 to do 96 20mers.
    Since Genemachines is a small, new company they don't have the luxury
or the manpower of sending someone out everytime something breaks.  I'm
sure if something catastrophic happened to your machine they would send
someone out, but that may or may not be covered by the warranty.  A 2
person team comes to your lab to set it up and train the users.  The
machine is built like a tank (and has the mass to go with it).  It was
definitely designed by engineers and not the marketing department. 


Paul Shinn    
Sequencing Coordinator                                    ,___o
pshinn at neomorph.bio.upenn.edu                            _-\_<,
Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Center                      (*)/'(*)
(215) 573-7256

More information about the Autoseq mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net