Personalized medicine is now becoming a reality thanks to next-gen sequencing. Illumina still remains Number 1 in the field, but Oxford Nanopore is on its way up to the top of the charts. The UK-based company raised €100M to become a serious challenger with its cheap and small technology.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a spin out from the University of Oxford, developed quite a ground-breaking technology, that could revolutionize the way we are able to sequence entire genomes. The big advantages of the technology lie in the fact that it minimizes size and costs of genome sequencing. The portable device is no bigger than a mere Iphone. And whilst the costs for sequencing decreased from $100M to less then $10k within the last ten years, Nanopore’s technology lowers the costs to under $1k per genome.
The Oxford-based company uses nanopore channels made out of transmembrane cellular proteins that are embedded in a synthetic polymer membrane. Much like in our neurons, a potential is applied across the membrane and current only flows through the aperture of the nanopore.