Synthetic biology has come a long way already and the following step into the complex system engineering will be a big one. Yet, the next generation biosystems are still locked away by our insufficient knowledge regarding biological parts. First of all, the immense amount of parts we currently have are poorly characterized, especially the interactions between them. Moreover, artificial intelligence aided development of synthetic parts with novel functions is hindered by the lack of sequence to function relationship data.

By all means - characterization is not an easy task, as even a small protein has more possible sequence variants than there are atoms in the known universe. For this reason, the characterization speed is as important as measurement precision. The current state of the art characterization techniques - mainly based on microplates and microfluidics - do not have capabilities to effectively assess the sequence and activity relationships for a large number of biomolecules. And that is understandable, as those systems were built for direct evolution, providing a way to assess the activity and sequence of a few best variants.

Therefore, we believe there is a strong need for a step in a different direction - an approach that would enable the ultra-high throughput sequence and activity space exploration.

What is CAT-Seq?

CAT-Seq stands for Catalytic Activity Sequencing - a system designed and built for high-speed, simultaneous characterization of Catalytic and Regulatory biological parts. The best way to explain what CAT-Seq can do, is to show how it works.

A library of uncharacterized catalytic biomolecules is swiftly encapsulated into small water droplets together with Recording Module.

Inside of the droplet, the biomolecules are produced. Each droplet contains a unique biomolecule library member. Then, the Recording Module assesses the biomolecule’s catalytic activity and records that information into the DNA molecule which encoded that specific biomolecule.

The activity information recorded in each unique DNA molecule, together with its sequence, can be read using Nanopore Sequencing.

In this way, the massive amount of sequence and activity information can be obtained for each and every biomolecule variant!


CAT-Seq is a unique, high-throughput method, and like every other innovation it is followed by a range of possible applications:

  • Precise and rapid characterization of large catalytic biomolecule libraries.

  • Large scale recording of regulatory part activities and their cross-interactions.

  • Sequence and Activity relationship driven Artificial Intelligence algorithms for novel biological part or system creation.