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DNA synthesizers

Roland J Saldanha rsaldanh at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Mon Jul 25 01:24:27 EST 1994

In article <1994Jul23.105853.30027 at cobra.uni.edu>,
 <jurgenson at cobra.uni.edu> wrote:
>I am currently looking at oligo nucleotide synthesizers.  I have used the
>Beckman Oligo 1000.  I will soon be trying out the chruachem P250.  I have
>considered the new one made by Pharmacea,  and perhaps will try out one from
>ABI.  I also have the oportunity to purchase a used ABI 380 ?  Does any one
>have any insite on the used machine from ABI? or any of the other models liste
>above?  Is their a machine that I should look at that is not listed here.  My
>synthesis needs are for teaching and research .  In molecular biology the olig
>synthesis rate may be considerable for short periods.  Any advice would be mos
>welcome.  My impression is that the Beckman is easy to use and convenient.  It
>has a built in trytl monitor,  but its seems to use a lot of solvent  and the
>reagents they sell are twice the price of those from other suppliers.

We went through a similar analysis but only considered ABI and the Millipore
Expedite (the Biosearch division of Millipore will be bought by Perceptive
shortly).  We bought the Expedite because it is very fast and very economical
in use of reagents.  I do not know what contract pricing of reagents will be in
your neck of the woods but it turns out that synthesis cost on a 0.2 uM scale
could be as low as $0.75/base (assuming 25 mers, column cost included).  The
expedite in the version we bought is not cheap and most easily run from a
computer.  If you do a lot of synthesis the high initial price will be more
than offset by the low rate of reagent consumption.  A lot of the synthesizer
manufacturers tie you into buying reagents from them and often "give" away the
machines recouping the costs from reagent purchases.  In calling around before 
we made the purchase people who had experience with both ABI and Expedite 
seemed to give the Expedite the nod for the above mentioned reasons.

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