By Brenda J. Trainor
Natural products are so in vogue — but natural products are hard to extract from plants and animals, and collecting them can be complicated and wasteful. Biological processes are dependent on the laws of nature, some of which we don’t fully understand and only a few that humans can control. So, do we need a system more efficient than Mother Nature? Yes. Invizyne, a company based in Monrovia, has created precisely such a form of synthetic biology. They are pioneering a platform that is “cell-free” and making it a commercial venture.
Dr. Tyler Korman, a co-founder of Invizyne and its director of research and development, will discuss “Biosynthesis Beyond Biology: The Next Wave of Bio-Production” at the next virtual meeting of MADIA Tech Launch, and the public is invited to log in to this free and informative presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Register through EventBrite to receive a Zoom link to the event.
Cell-free biosynthesis is not fake science. Rather it is a process to produce natural chemicals by eliminating the cell and facilitating the creation of desired natural chemicals that are normally found in cells. These natural chemicals are components in many products like nutraceuticals, flavorings, fragrances, and cannabinoids and some are necessary to create products like fuels and biodegradable products.
If you need a sufficient amount of certain biological elements to create ingredients and components for commercial products, a simpler and more efficient means of production is needed than traditional natural extractions. Dr. Korman will explain how unleashing enzymes for production outside the cell allows Invizyne to achieve the diversity and specificity found in nature, along with the scale and efficiency found in traditional chemical manufacturing.
MADIA Tech Launch is a nonprofit organization that serves as a career, company, and industry incubator that regularly provides networking and educational events to the region’s technical, scientific, and industrial workforce. The region is centered within and surrounding the cities of Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte, Irwindale, Azusa, and Glendora. Educational programs include entrepreneurship, business finance and operations, and technology development and commercialization.