Available Technology


The established methods for chemical synthesis of DNA work well for shorter oligonucleotides, but
synthesizing DNA strands longer than one kilobase is expensive, low yield, and is prone to error. A hybrid
approach using synthetic oligos and conventional PCR can be used for the synthesis of loner DNA.

LLNL scientists have developed a method to synthesize long DNA sequences of varying length starting
from short oligos. Synthetic oligos are generated using bioinformatics tools by overlapping multiple
small segments, such as 4-mers or 6-mers, derived from both strands of the source DNA strand. DNA
polymerases fill the gaps between these short n-mers to create the new, longer DNA strand. This
process can be repeated multiple times using same or different length n-mers until the DNA strand of
user specific length is synthesized within the microwell where this reaction takes place. An alternative
version of this method, which separates the groups of different length n-mers spatially into distinct wells
prior to the polymerase reaction occurring, is to separate them temporally. By sequentially adding the nmers
to the reaction mix, this alternative method may increase the probability the n-mers will bind in
the correct order to create the desired long DNA strand.

Patent Abstract: 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), operated by the Lawrence Livermore National Security
(LLNS), LLC under contract no. DE-AC52-07NA27344 (Contract 44) with the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE), is offering the opportunity to secure a license to exercise patent rights for commercializing its
method to synthesize long DNA sequences technology.


• Synthesis of long DNA strands with lower cost and higher yield • Spatial or temporal separation of added oligos as well as the ability to start with oligos of odd or even-length allows for flexibility in performing the method


• Synthesis of longer DNA strands • Manual introduction of specific n-mer component sequences into desired long DNA strand

Patent Number: 
7,871,799; 8,470,537
Technology Type(s): 
Medical Diagnostics
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Status: 
2 Issued Patents
Patent Issue Date: 
January 18, 2011
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