Mechanistic Theory of Nanopore Seq.Edit
The idea is to use electric current to read the shape and size of nanopores (holes the size of 1 nanometer), which, if modified by DNA bases near or close to the pore, can yield a series of specific reads that can be organized into a DNA sequence. This system requires a conduction fluid to creat a hyper-sensitive ionic environment. The breakthrough of this tecnology is to potentially sequence directly from a digestion step, skipping PCR and chemical labelling.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies started a commercial developing process in 2008 with the aim of sequencing DNA and identifying biomarkers. Their techonology is based on biological Alpha Heamolysin pores cloned from bacteria. Their first prototype was revealed in Febrerary 2012 thrugh a News Article in Nature . Their overall aim is to creat sequencer that can yield a hole genome in less than 15 minutes as well as to create the world's first miniature, disposable sequencer: MinION.
Limitations and SkepticismEdit
Currently the data available to support nanopore testing is limited. Oxford Nanopore Technology's first data release was limited to genomic data from viruses with a 4% error rate. To make it competitive to other sequencing technologies, they would have to reduce their margin of error to 0.1-1% and show comparative yields in more complex genomes such as the Human Genome.