Nanopore Sequencing

Advancing the Future of Sequencing

Nanopore Sequencing

What is it? A nanopore is very simply a small hole. Nanopores are being explored in uses for single molecule sequencing methods, as they offer advantages over existing technologies that use sensitive optics or complex preparation methods to detect DNA sequences.


Genia Technologies

We’re developing a novel nanopore sequencing method based on a proprietary integrated circuit and NanoTag chemistry from Genia Technologies. Roche acquired Genia Technologies in 2014 as their versatile nanopore-based platform allows for single molecule, electrical, real-time analysis for a potentially disruptive technology to support future applications for clinical sequencing.

At the heart of the technology is the biological nanopore, a protein pore embedded in a lipid bilayer membrane, and our underlying electronic sensor technology which enables highly efficient detection methods for the individual nucleotides. This method provides a more efficient, and cost-effective method of sequencing DNA by moving away from the complex sample preparation and optical detection methods currently in the market.

Biological Nanopores: Structure-Based Sequencing of Single DNA Molecules

The NanoTag sequencing approach, developed in collaboration with Columbia and Harvard University, uses a DNA replication enzyme to sequence a template strand with single base precision as base-specific engineered NanoTags are captured by the nanopore (Figure 1). As the NanoTags enter the pore, they attenuate the current flow through the pore in an identity-dependent manner.

Electrochemically, each of the four NanoTags interact with the nanopore recognition site differently, partially blocking the ion current by a characteristic amount which results in a tag-specific electronic signature. DNA sequences are computed from the residual current flowing through the nanopore/DNA complex. Because of the sensitivity of Genia’s analog circuitry underneath each sensor, Genia’s platform is ideal for sequencing single DNA molecules.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Illustration of a single molecule DNA sequencing by a nanopore with phosphate tagged nucleotides. The NanoTag sequencing approach identifies DNA sequences by the individual NanoTags.