Bioxp®️ 9600 System

In TelesisBio’s recent blog post, they go into discussing how our team partnered with Laurence Warden, Senior Vice President at TelesisBio, Engineering and Instrumentation, to developing a powerful and versatile platform that enables researches to overcome bottlenecks in discovery.

Laurence Warden, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Instrumentation, led his team to develop the BioXp® 9600 system – a high-throughput benchtop platform for synthetic biology workflows designed to empower scientists to accelerate the discovery of new vaccines and biologics. Read how Laurence and his team developed a benchtop instrument that automates synthetic biology to meet customers’ standards of mission-critical development timelines.

1. Tell me about when you went through the process of understanding what you wanted to automate. What was your inspiration? What was your objective? What did you want to achieve?
The development team wanted to create a next-generation platform for the BioXp which would allow for 3X the capacity of the existing 3250 system, allowing researchers to build more constructs in the same amount of time. In addition, we wanted to include the capability of more custom reagents and consumables to run on the instrument which will provide users with even more flexibility when integrating the system into existing workflows. Lastly, the system was designed to connect to future automation, including enzymatic oligo synthesizers.

2. Why is automating synthetic biology challenging?
Automating synthetic biology consists of precise fluid handling and accurate temperature control for thermal cycling and reagent storage. Transferring the golden hands of a very experienced molecular biologist can be a challenge. Because the system cannot see to the level of a human, it’s critical to ensure bubbles are not accidentally transferred, or random carryover is avoided at every step. This task can be daunting and requires a close relationship between the engineers developing the software and scripting with the biologist with the golden hands.

3. When you were first thinking about designing and automating synthetic biology as a novel application, what were you the most inspired by?
I’ve always been intrigued by how easily an experienced molecular biologist can cut, splice, amplify, purify and clone DNA. To collapse those steps on an automated platform where its “push button” is a real challenge. It always seemed wasteful to have an experienced biologist doing laborious things, so we aimed to make it as hands-off as possible.

4. You recently led the engineering team that developed the BioXp 9600 — the next-generation high throughput workstation for synthetic biology that builds on the capabilities of the award-winning BioXp platform. How does this version of the BioXp system differ from its previous iteration?
The BioXp 9600 project allowed us to build on the success of the 3250 system. For example, the system can store and use 960 additional disposable tips and has new custom reagent holders and storage for six more processing plates. This process provides flexibility for larger jobs such as mRNA and multi-fragment cloning. We also added bi-direction audio for future on-system training videos and customer service communications.

5. When you set out to design the system, what was your vision for the BioXp 9600?
Our vision for the BioXp 9600 system was that it was easy to use like the BioXp 3250 system but now with added capacity. We wanted the system to be as compact as possible since we know bench space is at a premium with most of our customers. Lastly, we wanted the system to have an attractive and unique industrial design.

6. Is there anything currently comparable to it in the biotechnology market? What would you say sets it apart?
Both the BioXp 3250 and the 9600 are unique in the market. There are many liquid handling systems available on the market, but there are no fully automated DNA assembly systems on the market. What is unique about the BioXp is that the reagents and all the scripting are finely tuned to give users a truly push-button experience for DNA construct synthesis.

7. In terms of design elements, what’s your favorite feature of the BioXp 9600 system?
My favorite feature of the BioXp 9600 is the user interface and how simple it is to use. We redesigned the entire user interface for the 9600 with a beautiful look that matches the industrial design of the enclosure.

8. How do you see this instrument impacting the development of vaccines and therapeutics?
We have been pleased with the response to the BioXp 9600 system. The system provides the capability for our customers to run higher numbers of candidates for screening for vaccines and therapeutics. The BioXp 9600 system is addressing the needs of those customers, helping them to speed up the delivery of these potentially lifesaving products to market.

nicoya ALTO

virtual reality

DDSTUDIO is a boutique product design firm with seasoned multidiscipline talent and a proven track record of achieving best in class product innovation. Our formula for success includes deep client collaboration, commitment to the design process and insight about the latest materials, cultural trends and emerging technologies.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are examples of emerging technologies that DDSTUDIO has explored as potential tools for our Client’s products by testing the technology internally during the Design Process. Our team quickly saw that VR and AR offer multiple benefits including: User Empathy, Deeper Contextual Understanding, Efficiencies in Concept Refinement and Client Team Alignment.

Real time Empathy (No More Fuzz)

A recent project that demonstrated the benefits of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Design Development was in the transportation industry.  The setting included a payment experience within multiple environments including some very large scale environments. David Glazier, DDSTUDIO Director of UX Strategy explains that we’ve reached a new age of Design Driven Product Development. Virtual Reality technology enabled a more accessible format for the client, designers and engineers to participate in the User Experience firsthand and develop deep “Empathy” for their customer. This immersive perspective created a collaborative platform for everyone involved creating an outcome of greater value and purpose.

Our client could be the traveler in context by interacting with the graphical user interface, paying for a ticket, and walking through the gate. The ability to observe that specific traveler’s perspective made the design decisions immediately credible.

User Experience is part of the first development engagement phase when time is spent learning about the product journey from the user’s perspective using tools such as research and observation. These insights include deeper understanding of the physical, behavioral and emotional needs, as well as identifying opportunities for important unmet needs. While these insights frequently contribute to the “aha” moment for the product or experience, the client sometimes has difficulty understanding or appreciating the “user experience” as a whole. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality help solve this ambiguity, by providing a solid framework and bridging the gap between fuzzy and understood.

Deeper Contextual Understanding

Virtual Reality enabled the DDSTUDIO team to quickly transport our client’s concept review meeting from a one dimensional, static PowerPoint presentation into a 3D interactive experience in an authentically simulated environment. We were able to walk our client through the series of concepts and explain deliberate design decisions and comparisons in real time. This clarified product attributes and modifications in context of the experience based on concrete insights learned through research in the previous phase. The DDSTUDIO team even simulated moving trains, lights and sounds into the Virtual Reality which made the experience instantly believable and actionable. The client was ecstatic!

Concept to Refinement Efficiency  

A typical product Concept Phase moves from development to refinement after a series of feedback sessions with various client stakeholder who down select to their favorite directions. Initial concepts are sketched by Industrial designers then entered into CAD software where the designer confirms the internal component layout and any other constraints from the brief.  At the same time, User experience and Interaction designers are evaluating the level of intuitive design and looking for opportunities to refine and exploit their delight.   Engineering is analyzing the enclosure concepts for mechanisms, attachments, materials and manufacturing processes. This attention to detail and implementation consideration results in models that are proportionally accurate and manufactural. By adding Virtual Reality, our client can provide immediate feedback because the Virtual Reality version is an exact replica in proportion to the surrounding environment facilitating deep contextual understanding.  (To increase the aspect of reality even more, the DDSTUDIO team offers a physical tool that allows the client to physically interact with the model moving the virtual reality to augmented reality.) The technology combination delivers a canvas for all departments to provide high level input, eliminate the need for multiple session and achieve a level of synergy that improves the overall quality in the refinement stage. Another client benefit of VR is that the design and engineering team are on hand to respond to questions about the impact any of concept modifications as they relate to budget and schedule. The client can then prioritize as a team to align with their company’s vision to confidently satisfy constraints and their customer.

Global Alignment

Virtual Reality delivers a new internal communication and alignment vehicle for our clients.  All departments in any location can experience the concepts in the same meeting and point out what’s important from their department’s perspective. Suddenly engineering understands the marketing department’s initiatives, mechanical engineering learns how the software team’s graphical user interface can enhance their functional decisions, senior management sees the synergistic exchange and is more confident to invest in the next phase of the project.

As Experience Designers, we design products and services from the human engagement perspective (users frame of reference), to identify and prioritize the user needs in context and then thoughtfully integrate the most appropriate blend of technology cultural trends and materials to achieve the most relevant “best in class” product solution.

Let DDSTUDIO use Virtual Reality to elevate the quality of your next Product Design and Development engagement and achieve “best in class” status for your next product!

medical device design

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) named DDSTUDIO a finalist in the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) competition—a recognition of design excellence in products, interaction design, service design, strategy, research, concepts and student designs in categories ranging from automobiles and commercial products to medical equipment and home furnishings.

Read more


Designer Matt Kranz has a new toy: generative coding software. It is used to translate controlled, scripted actions into often randomized and organic repeating elements; resulting in some very interesting imagery. “It’s pretty cool to explore the realm of free form generated by tight mathematical commands,” says Matt, “these were based, and slightly modified codes originally written by Matt Pearson. Fun with numbers!” Check out some of Matt’s creations below.