A new approach to manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules—oligonucleotides—could be a boon to both nanotechnology and drug development.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet’s Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center today describe in Nature Methods a new method for generating these oligonucleotides using enzymatics production methods.

Björn Högberg, Ph.D., said his team’s approach creates “a system that not only improves the quality of the manufactured oligonucleotides but also makes it possible to scale up production using bacteria in order to produce large amounts of DNA copies cheaply.”

Rather than synthesizing oligonucleotides, Dr. Högberg et al., chose to take a bioproduction approach, using bacteria to copy DNA sequences. The result, the researchers say, is a process by which several different oligonucleotides can thus be produced at the same time and can be scaled up at lower cost.

“Oligonucleotide-based drugs are already available, and it’s very possible our method could be used to produce purer and cheaper versions of these drugs,” Dr. Högberg added.

The study, “Enzymatic production of monoclonal stoichiometric single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides,” was published June 2 in Nature Methods.

Previous articleLights, Camera, and Lots of Cellular Action
Next articleStop Killing and “Plopping” Ideas