Developing new organisms that replace technology with biology: Nexera X2 UHPLC
Ginkgo Bioworks is the organism company. We design custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation. Organism engineers at Ginkgo learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.
*Affiliates and titles of the interviewee are current as of the time of reporting.
Please tell us about your work and your role in the organization/company.
At Ginkgo Bioworks we design custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. Our foundries are designed to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation with the aim of developing new organisms to replace technology with biology. As part of my role in the Test team, I develop methods for the production of compounds and blends for prospective Ginkgo products, as well as analytical methods that support and accelerate process development efforts.
What is the main purpose of using Shimadzu instruments in your lab?
We use Shimadzu UHPLC instruments (RID or FL) for quantitation of key metabolites in microbial fermentation samples. We also have a preparative HPLC (UV/Vis) system that is used for purification of products or key metabolic intermediates.
How many people in your lab use Shimadzu instruments? How often?
Our Shimadzu LC systems are used daily by 1-2 members of the Test team and by an additional 1-2 team members on a weekly basis.
What were the main reasons that your organization chose Shimadzu instruments?
Due to the variety of work that we do in the Test group at Ginkgo (multiple projects/products/organisms), we chose the Shimadzu LC systems for their modularity. We rely on the flexibility to adapt an instrument to a particular use (e.g. switch a pump, add a detector, etc.) with little effort.
Having used Shimadzu instruments so far, what are your thoughts on the advantages and benefits of using them?
While I have found the instruments to be fairly robust, when we have run into issues I have found the service and support we have received to be excellent. With few exceptions, our technical issues have been resolved quickly by Shimadzu.
In your opinion, was there a discrepancy in expectations before and after the actual use of Shimadzu instruments?
No, I would say that my expectations for Shimadzu instruments have been met.
Please suggest features or functionalities which you would like to see improved, added and enhanced for your Shimadzu Instrument?
As our sample volume increases, we may look to add additional capacity to our auto-samplers (>2 384-well plates).
Please tell us your "wish list" for Shimadzu technology, products and services.
I am currently considering adding an MS detector to our preparative system.
Please let us know your perception of "Shimadzu Corporation".
I perceive Shimadzu as equal to or better than its competitors in the liquid chromatography space with service and support being a key factor.
Comments About the Interview
The Nexera UHPLC was developed according to the three pillars of "Maximizing Throughput", "Maximizing Performance", and "Maximizing Expandability". These pillars allow researchers to use the system in many different ways and for many different analyses. In this interview, we learned again how important service and support is to helping customers achieve their goals. We can make wonderful instruments, but if the customer struggles, then it will not help them. It's important to provide customers a great overall "Shimadzu Experience" that consists of top-of-the-line instruments and top-of-the-line support.