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Zymo Research and Opentrons Partner to Automate Novel Cell-Free DNA Isolation Chemistry

The partnership leverages the Opentrons Flex platform’s automation and Zymo Research’s chemistries to provide superior cfDNA yields and improved throughput from biofluids compared to traditional methods.

IRVINE, Calif., July 24, 2023 — Zymo Research Corp, a leading provider of life science technologies, has partnered with Opentrons Labworks, Inc., a leader in lab automation, to revolutionize cell-free DNA isolation and analysis. The collaboration brings an innovative fully automated, comprehensive workflow from sample collection through library preparation transforming liquid biopsy analysis.

Current, common methods of liquid biopsy extraction can be challenging for cancer research due to inefficient recovery of cell-free DNA. The Zymo Research and Opentrons partnership offers a new approach that overcomes the hurdles of these common methods. The combination of Zymo Research’s chemistries with the advanced automation capabilities of the Opentrons Flex platform offers superior cfDNA yields, reduced processing time and consistent data delivery. This new method will revolutionize the efficacy of cfDNA analysis, enabling improvements in clinical cancer research outcomes.

The impactful collaboration will also lead to the development of a complete automated liquid biopsy workflow that enhances the accuracy and sensitivity of the downstream analysis. This unique workflow utilizes the ZymoSeq Cell Free WGBS Library Prep Kit, a fully automatable bisulfite chemistry and clean-up that utilizes prepared cfDNA for methylation analysis by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).

“Cell-free DNA plays a pivotal role in non-invasive testing, disease diagnosis and monitoring, personalized medicine, biomarker discovery, and genomic research. Through our collaboration with Opentrons, we aim to automate and streamline liquid biopsy processes, setting new standards in efficiency, accuracy and reproducibility for downstream cfDNA analysis,” said Dr. Marc Van Eden, VP of Business Development at Zymo Research.

“We are excited to collaborate with Zymo Research to advance liquid biopsy workflows through accessible automation. By leveraging Zymo’s technologies and the high-throughput capabilities of the Opentrons Flex platform, we aim to enable scientists to efficiently process a high volume of cell-free DNA samples in an automated manner to support high sensitivity and accurate methylation calling,” said James Atwood, General Manager of Opentrons Robotics.

This collaboration between Zymo Research and Opentrons further solidifies their track record of fruitful partnership. Previous collaborations include the automation of popular Zymo Research chemistries like ZymoBIOMICSQuick-DNA, and Direct-Zol on Opentrons’ reliable and affordable personal pipetting robot, the OT-2. With over 20 protocols automating Zymo Research kits contributed by the scientific community, these efforts have expanded the availability of highly qualified protocols available through the Opentrons’ Protocol Library.

To learn more about this novel cell-free DNA technology and workflow, or how to implement laboratory automation, visit the Zymo Research and Opentrons teams at the 2023 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo from July 24-27 in Anaheim, CA. Zymo Research will be at booth #3089 and Opentrons will be at booth #1978.

About MAGicBead cfDNA Isolation and Zymo-Seq Cell Free WGBS:
The MAGicBead cfDNA Isolation Kit features a unique, magnetic bead surface chemistry that facilitates unparalleled cfDNA recovery from biofluids. It is compatible with all open automation platforms and various sample types (e.g., serum, saliva, urine, etc.), allowing input volumes of up to 10 mL of plasma. The streamlined extraction process minimizes steps and eliminates the need for the bead drying step common in similar procedures. The eluted cfDNA is free of enzymatic inhibitors, ensuring its compatibility with downstream applications, including Next-Generation Sequencing. The Zymo-Seq Cell Free DNA WGBS Library Kit provides an optimized and reliable workflow for whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) library preparation from cell-free DNA (cfDNA). This all-inclusive kit features a straightforward procedure capable of preparing high-quality methyl-seq libraries from as little as 5 ng of cfDNA and comprises three basic steps: bisulfite conversion, direct adapter ligation, and index PCR amplification.

About Zymo Research:
Zymo Research is a privately owned company at the forefront of the scientific community since 1994, providing state-of-the-art molecular biology tools. The company’s motto, “The Beauty of Science is to Make Things Simple,” resonates in every product they produce, from epigenetics to DNA/RNA purification technologies. Renowned for its leadership in epigenetics, Zymo Research continues to break boundaries with novel solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid extraction, and NGS technologies, offering high-quality and user-friendly products. For more information, visit

About Opentrons:
Opentrons Labworks, Inc., a disruptive life science company and the current market leader in entry-level lab automation, accelerates innovation in research and healthcare through its integrated lab platform, which includes business units Opentrons Robotics and Neochromosome. Opentrons has raised over $200 million in funding and achieved unicorn status based on its first- and second-generation robots, OT-One and OT-2. Opentrons Robotics provides thousands of institutions with flexible, easy-to-use lab robots, automating R&D operations and making robotics, a vast open-source library accessible to life sciences researchers worldwide. Leveraged by institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, Opentrons is found in thousands of academic, biopharma, synthetic biology and clinical research labs in more than 40 countries. Learn more at