Oxford Nanopore Technologies: Enabling the Analyses of Anything, by Anyone, Anywhere
Did you know that nanopore sequencing is the most recent and advanced addition to DNA sequencing techniques? It’s the fourth generation of DNA sequencing technology and the only one of its kind today.
It works on a unique principle of DNA sequencing by passing the nucleic acid strand through nano-holes of proteins. The devices identify biological molecules based on a change in current when molecules pass through the nanopore.
Nanopore technology is developed and patented by Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT), offering a wide range of instruments specifically for nanopore science. The company was founded in 2005—as a spin-out from the University of Oxford—by Dr. Gordon Sanghera, Dr. Spike Willcocks, and Professor Hagan Bayley.
Today, Oxford Nanopore Technologies is led by CEO Dr. Gordon Sanghera. He guides the management team towards the development and commercialization of this groundbreaking technology platform that simplifies the analysis of biological molecules.
Its headquarters is located at Oxford Science Park with branches in Cambridge, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Shanghai, and Beijing.
The new generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology developed by Oxford Nanopore Technologies has immensely improved the way scientific research is currently performed. This article reviews these innovative, high-throughput nanopore devices and their application in the agriculture, clinical, and healthcare sectors.
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Oxford Nanopore Technologies Lab Products and Consumables
All Oxford Nanopore products and consumables are based on nanopore science. The company caters products in a fully scalable format from pocket to population-scale, reinforcing its mission to help anyone to “sequence anything, anywhere.”
1. Research Products (Sequencing platforms)
The next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms provide a better understanding of the physiological and pathological status of normal or diseased tissue.
The nanopore sequencing device allows sequencing of any DNA/RNA fragment from short to ultra-long in length, real-time availability of data, and simple, rapid, and automated library preparation. Given below is a list of top nanopore sequencers and preparation kits with their key features:
Sequence and Analyze
- MinION: It’s the only portable, pocket-sized sequencing device for biological assays. It’s a cost-effective device that provides real-time gigabases (>50 GB) data of short to ultra-long reads (>4 Mb) for rapid and efficient workflows.
MinION Mk1C is another portable MinION device model (but not pocket-sized) with a high-resolution touchscreen and a combination of MinION and Flongle sequencing devices.
- GridION: This is a compact benchtop device that runs and analyzes up to five Flongle and MinION flow cells. It can stream up to 250 GB of real-time data for immediate analysis. The integrated high-performance data processing and analysis minimizes complex IT requirements to ease up scientific research.
- PromethION: It’s a benchtop sequencing device ideal for large-scale projects and high-throughput laboratories. It’s available in two models, PromethION 24 (P24) and PromethION 48 (P48), depending on the number of flow cells present in the devices. It delivers on-demand access to real-time terabases of data for immediate analysis.
- Flongle: It’s an adaptor for MinION and GridION devices that allows direct, real-time DNA sequencing on smaller, single-use flow cells. It’s a cost-effective device that provides immediate data for your small tests or experiments.
- Voltrax: The Voltrax is a small, simple, portable, USB-powered device that prepares your sample for nanopore sequencing. You can use custom protocols for your experiments including sample preparation, fluorescence detection methods, and PCR.
IVD Testing (COVID-19)
LamPORE COVID-19 is a rapid, low-cost molecular diagnostic assay that helps in routine detection of COVID-19 causing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The assay can process up to 24-480 samples per run and distinguish between poorly collected samples and true negative results.
- LamPORE Assay: It’s a fully integrated assay comprising the GridION Oxford Nanopore Diagnostics device and consumables, such as flow cells and LamPORE COVID-19 testing kits. The five flow cells (ran independently or together) in the assay can be used to run up to 480 samples.
- LamPORE Workflow: The LamPORE assay works on extracted RNA from swab samples of patients. It targets and amplifies three highly conserved regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome (N gene; E gene; ORF1a) for positive samples and the acting gene for negative control.
After amplification, samples are prepared and loaded in a GridION device for sequencing that tells if the reaction product is SARS-CoV-2, and reports are produced in visual or LIMS-format.
Image: An illustration of the LamPORE COVID-19 workflow for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a sample.
This is a line of devices providing rapid end-to-end workflows for routine and applied science applications. It streamlines sample preparation, on-demand sequencing, and real-time data analysis that aids in immediate access to results.
- GridION Q: It’s a benchtop, high-throughput, locked-down version of the GridION Mk1 platform. It can run up to five independent flow cells with fixed software and chemistry updates that allow you to set up robust, long-term, customized validated sequencing workflows.
- Ligation Sequencing Kit Q: It’s a versatile library preparation kit with a high sequencing yield. It allows you to have control over read length and streamline the automatable processing of data.
- Native Barcoding Expansion Q: This kit enables you to run up to 24 samples on a single flow cell. It’s best used to generate maximum data at a lower cost per sample. It multiplies the sample without using PCR and without loss of nucleotide base modification information.
- Flow Cells: It’s a channel to adsorb DNA fragments to perform DNA sequencing. Oxford Nanopore Flongle flow cells consist of a sensor array and nanopores that make them a perfect fit for 1D experiments. Some other products include MinION, GridION, and PromethION Flow Cells.
- Kits and Sample Prep: Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides several sample preparation kits that come in three distinct categories:
- Sample type: DNA/RNA.
- PCR-free: PCR/PCR-free.
- Multiplexing: yes/no.
Some examples of the products include Rapid Barcoding Kit 96, Cas9 Sequencing Kit, and the Ligation Sequencing Kit.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Applications
Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides next-generation DNA/RNA sequencing devices that work on novel nanopore science. The platform helps scientists answer their questions in real-time and aids in solving real-world challenges. Some of the applications of nanopore sequencing technology are given below:
1. Research Areas
Nanopore sequencing allows scientists to unravel the mysteries of organisms by reading their nucleotide sequences. Here’s a list of different biology and biotechnology research areas that use the nanopore sequencing technology:
- Plant and animal
- Infectious diseases
- Human genomics
- Clinical research
- Popular Genomics
Nanopore sequencing technology lets scientists investigate any alteration or modifications in the cell, which has major application in clinical research. Nanopore sequencing technology applications for studying organisms and their development includes:
- Structural variants (or variation)
- Single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and phasing
- Gene expression
- Splice variation
- Fusion transcripts
- Chromatin conformation
Real-time nanopore sequencing technology can be easily integrated into any biological sample testing workflow where rapid and accurate results are required. The portability of devices lets you perform your experiments on the bench or in the field. This technology can be involved in the following workflows:
Oxford Nanopore Services
Apart from its advanced sequencing devices, Oxford Nanopore provides you with a range of services to help you excel in your research. Few of its highly recommended services include:
1. Device & Lab Certification
Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides GridION and PromethION certification programs to ensure the high-quality performance of labs using Oxford Nanopore sequencing platforms. To become certified, service labs need to purchase a lab certification and an instrument certification for all their devices.
The service labs have to then complete a number of sequencing runs on the GridION and/or PromethION using validated control samples before they start offering the services.
To help you become an expert on the instruments and to provide an in-depth understanding of nanopore sequencing and data analysis, Oxford Nanopore Technologies offers training programs for all its devices.
3. Bespoke Project Services
The bespoke project services are designed to assist the successful implementation of nanopore sequencing workflows in your laboratory. It will provide you with advanced practical experience across multiple samples.
4. Device Warranty
The software license and warranty contract ensures that your instrument is up-to-date with its latest hardware and software versions. It also extends the warranty after the initial purchase contract expires. The warranty contract includes:
- Software updates on release
- Hardware update on release
- Return and replace policies
Learn more about Oxford Nanopore Technology’s warranty and policies at www.nanoporetech.com.
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Accelerate Your Lab’s R&D with Excedr
Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides a one-of-a-kind nanopore sequencing device that works on nanopore science. These devices are available in pocket-sized and benchtop designs that allow you to perform your experiments anytime, anywhere.
Besides assisting you in every step of your research—from sample preparation to sequencing workflows and data analysis—the inbuilt software helps collect actionable results, helping scientific researchers complete in-depth analyses and more accurately answer questions about the biology of people, plants, animals, pathogens, environments, and more.
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