Inscripta has presented its scaleable platform for benchtop digital CRISPR engineering, described as a world first, at the 2019 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) conference. The technology, “CRISPR-enabled trackable genome engineering” or CREATE, is meant to remove certain limitations of CRISPR to allow for more wide-reaching research in the future.

Currently scientists when designing their genome editing projects must prioritise either the number of locations in the genome to edit or the complexity in mutation type. As Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta said, currently scientists can have either “a flavor of richness” in the type of mutations made at one genomic site or can make one type of change in many places.

Inscripta set out a number of years ago to allow both at the same time. In order to do this, they moved partitions separating experiments away from the well of a 96-well plate, over to the cell.

The key to Inscripta’s CREATE, as published in Nature Biotechnology, is the covalent attachment of each guide RNA to homologous repair cassettes. Libraries of these cassettes are built on a microarray, each library having a barcode so every cell can be tracked. Inscripta has yet to define how one CREATE cassette gets into each cell.

Inscripta’s platform is set to launch later in 2019.