Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN)

Cell Design Studio

Custom-Engineered Cells

The Cell Design Studio (CDS) group at Sigma-Aldrich® leverages several molecular biology technologies, most notably Custom shRNA and CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology, to engineer mammalian lines for customers to use in areas such as basic research, cell-based assays, target validation, drug discovery and bioproduction. Our mission is to facilitate customers research and manufacturing needs through application of our experience in cell engineering technologies.

Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) are a class of engineered DNA-binding proteins that facilitate targeted editing of the genome by creating double-strand breaks in DNA at user-specified locations. Double-strand breaks are important for site-specific mutagenesis in that they stimulate the cell's natural DNA-repair processes, namely homologous recombination and Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ). By implementing established, field-proven methods, these processes can be harnessed to generate precisely targeted genomic edits, resulting in cell lines with precise and heritable gene deletions, integrations or modifications.

Combining ZFN technology and stem cell expertise, Sigma-Aldrich now offers a service for the custom engineering of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Send us your iPS cells or use one of our well characterized iPS cell lines and get a fit-for-your-purpose ready-to-use cell line. Potential projects include, but are not limited to, creation of pluripotency reporter, lineage tagged, or disease model iPS cell lines. Let Sigma-Aldrich iPS CDS team focus on development and spend your precious time and resources on discovery.

Engage our team  to discuss your specific needs by sending a brief email to CDSInquiries@sial.com to connect with a CDS representative. Projects can be initiated by completion of a Cell Design Studio Application Form provided by the CDS representative and subsequent acceptance of a Statement of Work prepared by the CDS team.

Our Mission

To facilitate our clients’ research and manufacturing endeavors through expert application and support of Sigma-Aldrich cell engineering technologies.

  • CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology (Figure 1)
  • Custom shRNA

Modifications possible using CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease technology
Figure 1. Modifications possible using CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology.

Why use our Cell Design Studio (CDS)?

  • Easy access to CompoZr ZFN Technology
  • Rapid delivery of modified cell line in as little as 20 weeks
  • Efficient use of your resources as no additional personnel, training or capital equipment is required
  • Ready-to-use modified cell lines delivered to you
  • Dedicated and Experienced cell design R&D team will work closely with you to create your cell line

Applications of Cell Lines from CDS

Project Workflow

Cell Design Studio Project Workflow

Our Project Workflow

  1. Our Project Workflow
  2. Custom Project Inquiry
  3. Project Discussion/Definition
  4. Finalize Statement of Work (SOW)
  5. Project Execution
  6. Project Delivery
  7. Follow-up


Project Phases for Standard Project Cell Design Studio - The Sigma Effect!

CDS projects are divided into multiple phases.

CDS Phases
  • Statement of work to initiate the project
  • Define and plan your custom project with help from a dedicated R&D team
  • Draft legal documents such as MTA, CDA and Service Agreements with help from the Sigma legal team
  • Project management support throughout project
  • Regular meetings with R&D to update on project progress
  • Safety and QC testing will be performed on cell lines

Project Deliverables

  • CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease Kit
    • Plasmid DNA
    • mRNA
    • Primers
  • 5 vials of engineered cell lines
    • May include multiple clones
  • 5 vials of parental cell line (upon request)
  • Full Project Report
    • History of cell handling
    • Reagents used
    • Sequence data
    • Safety and QC test results
    • Other requested data

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