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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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  • Technology
    • Movie: An introduction to the GridION™ system
    • Single-use cartridge
    • GridION™ workflow
The GridION™ system

The Oxford Nanopore proprietary nanopore-based sensing chemistries can be operated on the GridION™  system, an electronics-based platform. This enables multiple nanopores to be measured simultaneously and data to be sensed, processed and analysed in real time.

A single instrument, a GridION node, operates with a single-use cartridge that contains the necessary reagents to perform an experiment. 

A node can be employed as a single desktop instrument, or scaled up in a similar way to computing installations.

As a desktop instrument for the individual researcher, it can write data to the network or to a locally attached disc (directly through a USB or through a network) and work in a small lab. GridION does not require a dedicated server.

Each node is a network device. Multiple nodes can be aggregated together into larger co-operating units or clusters, communicating with each other in a peer-to-peer fashion over the user's network. The system is designed to interface or even co-locate, with standard or high-performance IT infrastructure. Workflow overheads and total costs, including IT, scale linearly with the GridION system.

graphic: a single node (left) may be used as a desktop device, or installed in conjunction with other nodes that communicate with each other through a network (centre, right).

A single node as a desktop
Nodes may be clustered through a network for larger throughput installation Each GridION node operates with a single disposable cartridge


GridION nodes
The GridION™  single molecule analysis system is scalable; the basic unit is an instrument called a node. Each node is a self-contained electronic reader that operates as a network device.

Low power and space requirements
A single GridION node has a small footprint, with a 2 u height* and fitting standard 19" computing racks. At less than 50 W total power consumption, and less than 90 BTUs of heat output, each node has the energy footprint of a domestic light bulb, requiring no additional power, temperature control, or structural modifications to a building for installation.

*A 'u' is a standard measurement for the height of rack-mountable instrumentation, and is typically used in computing where individual server blades may be 1 u, 2 u, etc. A standard computing rack may be 19" or sometimes 23". 1 u = 1.75" or 44.45 mm.

Node bandwidth
Each node contains custom, high-performance electronics that allow the high-frequency measurement of ionic current through individual nanopores – many tens of thousands of recordings per second.

Data is transferred from the sensor array chip in the cartridge, via a custom Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), to the node at hundreds of megabytes per second. In situ, the data is reduced to sensing events of the appropriate type for the application, e.g. base-calls for DNA sequencing or binding counts for protein analysis.

Node installation
GridION™  nodes have been designed for easy installation, upgrade and maintenance. A user can install the node in a benchtop skin or computing rack and a single node needs only a standard power supply and network connection.

This plug-and-play approach means that the customer will be able to install their own GridION nodes and receive replacements for faulty nodes rather than relying on installation engineers and  long servicing cycles. Nodes are built to run diagnostics and automated pre-emptive fault sensing, allowing replacement nodes to be supplied to users before an instrument fault occurs.