Table 1. Nanopore sequencing in development. At least five companies are developing nanopore-based DNA sequencers, which determine base-pair identity by measuring unique signatures generated by each nucleotide as it passes through a pore. Three key design choices distinguish nanopore-based sequencing systems in development: the composition of the nanopore itself, which could be a solid-state material or a biological material consisting of a recombinant channel protein such as a porin; the DNA transport method, which controls how fast nucleotides pass through the pore and is critical to ensure accurate sequencing; and the nature of the signature generated by the DNA as it passes through the pore.

Company

Nanopore composition

DNA transport method

Detection
signature

Predicted
commercial launch

Genia Technologies Inc.

Biologic

Electronic control moves DNA through nanopores embedded in a lipid bilayer

Ionic current

2013

IBM Research/Arizona Technology Enterprises/Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY)/454 Life Sciences Corp.

Solid state

Electronic control moves DNA through nanopores embedded in a silicon chip

Electron tunneling current

Undisclosed

NABsys Inc.

Solid state

Electronic control moves DNA with hybridized oligonucleotide probes through nanopores embedded in a silicon chipA

Ionic current

Undisclosed

NobleGen Biosciences Inc.

Solid state

Electronic control moves synthetic DNA template with hybridized oligonucleotide beacons through nanopores in a silicon chip, displacing the beaconsB

Fluorescence

2014

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.

Biologic

Processive enzyme moves DNA through nanopores embedded in a lipid bilayer

Ionic current

2H12

ARequires a preprocessing step in which DNA is hybridized to oligonucleotide probes. BRequires a preprocessing step in which DNA is converted into a synthetic DNA template and hybridized to oligonucleotide beacons, which contain a fluorophore and quencher pair. When the beacon is hybridized to the template, fluorescence is quenched and no signal occurs. When the beacon is released from the template, a fluorescence signal occurs.