Pacific Biosciences released the SMRT technology in 2011. Its principle is much like the metallic door of a microwave oven. It lets the visible light pass through it but not the microwaves. This technology is called the Zero Mode Waveguide (ZMW) which enables sequencing by synthesis in a zeptolitre volume! SMRT stands for single molecule real time sequencing and it was developed by Craighell, Web and collegues at Cornell university.

Pacific Sciences SMRT technology

A DNA polymerase is attached to the bottom of the ZMW and the four nucleotides are added to the well. The nucleotides have a tag of different colours. The tags are unique as they are phospho-linked and are cleaved off during synthesis. This reduces the background tremendously. This form of sequencing by synthesis gives longer reads and can be useful for both de novo and resequencing. The initial prototype had 3000 ZMW holes on the same platform and it could read as long as 2.8 kb sequence at a time. Other advantages
Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing - Pacific Biosciences

Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing - Pacific Biosciences

SMRT technology

include ease of use ( user can optimize protocols) and faster results ( real time data acquisition).