Rapid, Reliable and Repeatable Platforms for Cell-Free Prototyping

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We are working with Synvitrobio, Inc. to develop and commercialize a cell-free platform that that emulates the in vivo environment and allows for rapid, low-cost, high-throughput, and reproducible prototyping of complex biomolecular networks. Achieving this goal will accelerate predictive and rational engineering of biology by providing an intermediary environment between design and execution.

Past participants:


  • Zachary Sun, Abel Chiao (Synvitrobio, Inc.)


Work at Caltech is focused on the following areas:

  • Reduce variability of output data from the cell-free experts by analyzing sources of variability and developing methods of calibrating cell-free data sets
  • Explore the use of lyophilized extracts and buffers for long-term storage.


This work is funded by DARPA SBIR contract W911NF-16-P-0003 (Caltech subcontract from Synvitrobio, Inc.). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing officially policies, either expressly or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or the U.S. Government..

  • Agency: Synvitrobio
  • Grant number:
  • Start date: 1 Oct 2016
  • End date: 31 Jul 2018
  • Support: 0.5 students + technician support, materials
  • Reporting: Monthly updates; quarterly reports