Double Helix Technologies (DOULIX ™) is a trademark and a business unit of EXPLORA BIOTECH Srl dedicated to develop innovative enabling technologies to unlock the full potential of forward biological engineering.
Biology is going through a radical paradigm shift over the last decade evolving from a qualitative/descriptive science to quantitative/engineering one. It’s now possible to (a) design and construct new biological parts, devices and systems and (b) re-design existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes” in a rational and systematic way. This forward biological engineering approach may be applied at all levels of the hierarchy of biological structures: from individual molecules to whole cells, tissues, organisms and populations. This approach, also known as synthetic or constructive biology, has already revolutionized technology and production paradigms fostering the development of innovative medicines, redesign environmental friendly chemical processes and generate new sources of energy.
Our mission is to develop innovative enabling technologies to unlock the full potential of forward biological engineering. Our ultimate goal is to develop a comprehensive and coherent bio-engineering platform to allow scientist to pursue their ambitious goals.
Our technological platform is built around 3 main pillars:
We pride ourselves in providing the first and only collection of lab-tested standard biological parts, called BIOMODULE. Each and every public BIOMODULE is sequence-verified and in vivo tested for function before release. Our lab tests are carried out under the most stringent ISO-9001 quality controls.
Our proprietary DNAmate technology is built upon the Golden Gate assembly [Engler et al., 2009] and exploits type IIS restriction enzyme to seamlessly assemble multiple DNA fragments in pre-order sequence. DOULIX has further developed this technique in order to allow swap in/swap out of individual DNA fragments for easy replacement and construction of combinatorial libraries.
DOULIX’s modelling platform, expected by Q3 2017, will allow end-users to query the standard biological parts repository, retrieve biological parts of interest, assemble them and simulate the overall dynamic of the system. We foresee the deployment of a multi-scale modelling platform exploiting both stochastic and deterministic algorithms according to model under simulation (e.g. single operon vs whole-cell simulation).
We wouldn’t have gone this far without our network of partnerships that helped to shape and to improve DOULIX. We would like to thank our academic and private partners for the valuable feedback over the years.
What happens when you couple the flexibility of Agilent’s SureVector with the design capability of DOULIX? Combinatorial Synthetic Biology is the answer. Doulix and Agilent team up together to promote Agilent's SureVector next-generation cloning system through Doulix’s web platform. Through this partnership, synthetic biologists will be able to design custom plasmids by combining Agilent's functional DNA modules with custom genes. Doulix and SureVector combine the convenience of pre-made standard DNA parts with the freedom of a full-fledge sequence editor unlocking the full potential of synthetic biology.
THEGRAIL project, Funded by the EU with grant nr. 278557, aims at designing protein-based bioactive scaffold that locally regenerates intima growth after endovascular treatment of the obstructed arteries in patients with atherosclerosis. The set of sequences that build the foundations of THEGRAIL was the first seed of what would later become the DOULIX’s core infrastructure. We would like to thank Bioforge Lab at University of Valladolid and Technical Protein Nanobiotechnology for their support.
There is always a turning point, for us it was the NEXT project. The NEXT project, funded by the EU with grant nr. 602235, aims at developing the next generation of chimeric pancreatic islet for diabetes 1 treatment. One of the pillars of NEXT is the design of modular proteins endowed with multiple biological functions such as immune-modulation and angiogenesis. The challenge posed by the design of NEXT modular proteins was the spark that triggered everything, we developed the DNAmate assembling technique (DNA modular assembling technology) and the DOULIX’s assembler.
We never rest still and we always look for improvements, we are happy to team up with the LIAR consortium, a project funded by the EU with grant nr. 686585, to develop the next sequence editor for synthetic biology. We would like to thank the Laboratory for Artificial Biology of the University of Trento and the Environmental Microbiology group of the Spanish National Research Council for their help in design DOULIX’s designer.