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Oxford location
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Edmund Cartwright House, 4 Robert Robinson Avenue
Oxford Science Park, Oxford, OX4 4GA, UK

Tel: +44 (0)845 034 7900 | Fax: +44 (0)845 034 7901

Cambridge location
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Suite 4, The Mansion, Chesterford Research Park
Little Chesterford, Essex, CB10 1XL, UK

Tel: +44 (0)845 034 7900 | Fax: +44 (0)845 034 7901

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If you have any enquires or questions, feel free to get in touch with Oxford Nanopore.

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Apply to the MAP

The MinION™ Access Programme (MAP) is a community-focused access project which started in Spring 2014. The philosophy of the MAP is to enable a broad range of people to explore how the MinION may be useful to them, to contribute to developments in analytical tools and applications and to share their experiences and collaborate. Listening to this community helps Oxford Nanopore provide continuous improvements to our products and support. To apply to join the MAP click here.

Single-use cartridge

GridION™  nodes are designed to work with a single-use, self-contained cartridge that includes all the reagents required to run an experiment. The cartridge is compatible with standard laboratory multi-well plates.

All reagents are contained within the cartridge, and there are no reagents inside the instrument (nodes). The sample is introduced into the cartridge which is then inserted into the node. Cartridges are self-priming and no further user action is required once loaded.

A number of nanopores are recorded at any one time by using an arrayed sensor chip to create multiple individual recording channels. Signals from these channels are acquired by a specially designed Application-Specific Electronic Circuit (ASIC).


Adapting to automation and improved workflows
Multiple samples can be loaded into a cartridge via a multi-well plate manifold. This adaptation allows the node to analyse each sample in turn.

Coupled with the Run until functionality, each sample can be analysed until sufficient data has been gathered to satisfy the pre-determined experimental endpoint, and the node can then expel the sample, flush and move to the subsequent sample. Multi-well plate-based sample preparation can streamline and scale workflows for individual nodes or for clusters of nodes.

 


Adaptation of cartridges for different applications.
Cartridges may contain different types of nanopores so that they can analyse different types of molecule, e.g. DNA, RNA, proteins or small molecules. A different type of nanopore may be supplied for sub-types of these experiments, for example epigenetic analyses. Oxford Nanopore engineers different types of nanopore so that each is best suited to the analysis of a type of molecule; in DNA sequencing the Company plans to include more than one type of nanopore within a single chip, to provide complementary data and therefore enrich the analytical data.

 

 

 

Sensor chip

Using microchip fabrication techniques, Oxford Nanopore has developed devices that enable highly scalable arrays of nanopores to be used for sensing at the single molecule level. These utilise a sensor array chip that consists of a number of microwells, each of which contains its own electrode. Via the Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), each microwell electrode is connected to a common counter electrode positioned inside the flow cell, that is constructed over the top of the microwell array. The sensor chips are stored dry, but on starting the experiment, the flow cell is automatically exposed to the relevant electrophysiological buffer, and other fluids required to create nanopores in bilayers under experimental conditions. The measurement circuitry in the accompanying ASICs allow each step in the process to be monitored for quality control and selection of active nanopores.

Once the set-up process is completed and experimental analysis begins, the nanopore array is fully functional for as long as the user wishes to conduct their experiment. As the experiment progresses, each channel on the sensor chip streams experimental data in real time. In the case of DNA sequencing this means that full length reads are processed individually in real time, and as a read is completed a new DNA strand is acquired and starts to process. Real-time data acquisition and analysis means that users can monitor the results of their experiment as it progresses and can stop analysing the sample when enough data has been collected to answer their experimental question.
 

Silicone wafer containing numerous sensor chips manufactured in standard format,
close-up view on right

 

ASIC

Oxford Nanopore has developed custom high-performance, low-cost Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for the GridION™  system. These ASICs apply biased potentials across each nanopore in the sensor array chip and measure the resulting ionic current flow. They are contained within the single-use cartridge.

These ASICs have been designed to measure current at very high sampling frequencies, tens of kHz per nanopore, while minimising measurement noise and maximising signal. Each ASIC contains a high-density array of low-noise amplifier circuitry, and can be scaled to measure from tens to thousands of channels, with further projects underway for larger chips. More than one ASIC may be included in each cartridge for higher-throughput systems.

Right: ASICs mounted on a printed circuit board, which are linked to a sensor array chip. As many ASICs may be included in a single GridION cartridge or MinION™ device as are required.
 

Silicon wafer containing numerous ASICs manufactured using standard microchip fabrication techniques,
individual ASICs on right