GENOMIKON - Kit Design

The Idea

GENOMIKON evolved from a team objective to bring synthetic biology to high school students. Numerous design challenges existed in sidestepping the limitations high schools face when compared with a university environment.

One of the many students that can benefit from GENOMIKON.

To work GENOMIKON must be:

  • Without the requirement of expensive equipment (no autoclaves, centrifuges, or -70oC freezers)
  • Fast
  • Efficient
  • Easily shipped
  • Inexpensive

Our kit has met and overcome these challenges.

The Innovation

BioBytes 2.0 is:

  • Fast: Parts can be added to a growing construct in 7 minutes.
  • Efficient: It has been modeled to be 95% efficient. We have also used BioBytes 2.0 to create plasmids that have been transformed successfully into E. coli.
  • Equipment: It does not require centrifugation or any other expensive equipment inherently.

The Kit

The other limitations were solved by using innovative protocols and products:

  • Equipment: Expensive micropipetters are replaced with precision droppers, which can accurately dispense small volumes of solutions.
  • Easily Shipped: We will utilize lyophilized competent cells so that cold temperatures are not necessary.
  • Inexpensive: Based on our distribution analysis, the kit will be inexpensive to produce and can be sold at costs that are lower than currently used high school biology labs.

The full contents of the kit can be found on the kit components page.

This picture shows the precision pipettes, the buffers, and the magnet racks among other kit items.


GENOMIKON was designed with safety in mind and as such it has many safety features built in.

  • A common lab strain of E. coli, DH5α, is used. This strain has been used in standard laboratories for years around the world and was designed to carrier very limited safety concerns.
  • Personal protective equipment is not required, but will be recommended to further decrease the risks of contamination.
  • The kit will teach safety education to the students.


In order to validate our kits function, high school students from the Edmonton area were invited to use the kit for an afternoon. This was met with warm reception. Students felt the kit provided them with a unique educational opportunity to learn about the exciting field of synthetic biology. Additionally, they provided our team with important feedback on improvement of the system. An in-depth look at this component can be seen on real world trials.