Base4 Innovation Ltd., a Cambridge-based DNA-sequencing company, and Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, a technology company developing and manufacturing scientific and medical systems, announced that they have entered into an agreement to develop a long read-length, single-molecule, nanopore-based DNA-sequencing system based on Base4’s technology and Hitachi’s state-of-the-art instrumentation.
The core DNA-sequencing technology is based on the concept of passing a single strand of DNA through a nanometer-scale pore and reading out the sequence directly as it does so. A method was developed by Base4 to increase the signal from the single molecule as it passes through the pore by using laser light enhanced by gold structures. Minimal sample preparation is required and the signal can be read from unlabelled DNA.
The system offers easy analysis of genetic material. It will be able to directly read DNA modifications, such as methylation, which is relevant to the genes associated with cancer, as well as achieve long read lengths.