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AI-enabled design-and-test platform speeds bioproduct development

By Scott Jenkins |

TeselaGen Biotechnology (San Francisco, Calif.; www.teselagen.com) has developed a platform technology that integrates software and services, while taking advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) by applying machine-learning algorithms to reduce the costs and time required for the development of biologically derived products.

“Among the main challenges in biotechnology is that developing bioproducts can take years and cost millions of dollars,” says Eduardo Abeliuk, CEO of TeselaGen. “We think of ourselves as an operating system for biotech that allows the end-to-end integration of different AI-enabled software modules with other product development services.” As an analogy, Abeliuk likens the way his company’s platform works to facilitate the interface with outside biotechnology vendor systems and devices, to computer software operating systems that allow desktop computers to communicate with external computer networks and device drivers.

The TeselaGen platform first helps research and development scientists design combinatorial libraries of desired molecules, such as DNA and pathway assemblies – genes encoding enzymes to carry out specific reactions, and DNA sequences to regulate expression. The platform then generates the instructions for laboratory automation systems to synthesize and assemble the segments for the project. Next, the DNA assemblies are inserted into host cells to evaluate the performance of different variations. The TeselaGen system uses AI-trained models to guide efficient experimentation that is aimed at identifying the best-performing assemblies.

The TeselaGen platform grew out of a DNA assembly protocol generator called “j5”, initially developed at the Joint Bioenergy Institute (Emeryville, Calif.; www.jbei.org). The TeselaGen platform has now been deployed in a variety of settings, including the following: collecting data for pilot-scale bioreactors at the Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Calif.; www.lbl.gov); developing new bioproducts at LanzaTech Inc. (Skokie, Ill.; www.lanzatech.com), and optimizing metabolic pathways in yeast at the Technical University of Denmark (Lyngby; www.dtu.dk).

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