Nanopore sequencing technology

This disruptive sensing technology was announced by Oxford Nanopore Technologies in 2012 at AGBT. We joined the MinION Access Program (MAP) when it started in 2014. In the years that followed we gained a lot of experience with the system and saw a huge increase in performance. We continue to stay at the forefront of nanopore sequencing via our participation in the PromethION Early Access Program (PEAP).

How does it work?

Tiny protein pores are embedded in a synthetic membrane, one in each well. A potential is applied across the membrane and as a result a small current runs through the pore. As the (charged) DNA molecules traverse the pore they reduce the current. These reductions depend on the shape of the DNA or RNA that is in the pore and are a tell-tale sign for the base identity. The changes in the current are translated into a base sequence using the most up to date neural networks. More information can be found at the website of Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

The single molecules are sequenced by passing them through a tiny pore and because there is no interaction with the pore there is no limit to the length of DNA that can be sequenced. Indeed ~megabase-sized reads have already been obtained. This greatly simplifies downstream analysis.

The hardware

Oxford Nanopore Technologies now ships three sequencing systems and we have all three of them in our facilities.


Portable sequencing device that supports one flow cell with 512 channels.

GridION X5

Benchtop sequencer that supports up to five MinION flow cells.


Benchtop sequencer that can simultaneously run up to 48 PromethION flow cells with 3000 channels each.

We are also among the first parties to complete the training program to become an official Oxford Nanopore Technologies Service Provider. This means we can offer the use of this technology to our customers.