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Old 02-19-2012, 05:04 AM   #19
David Eccles (gringer)
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 835

Originally Posted by nxgsqq View Post
The bigger unknown is the true, customer usability of their pores. I would assume they are Poisson loading the pores before they ship to users.
The information on the website suggests that the pores (in solution) are loaded onto the chip at the start of a run:

The sensor chips are stored dry, but on starting the experiment, the flow cell is automatically exposed to the relevant electrophysiological and other fluids required to create nanopores in bilayers in experimental conditions.
I presume the system will be set up so that the reported shelf life of the cartridges will give a reasonable proportion of active nanopores up to the use by date.

They intend to use solid-state pores in the future, which I guess would make the cartridges last a whole lot longer.

How many pores are still active after an hour of use? I know the bilayers can be made stable and inert, I can accept the error profile can be made length independent (especially if they tether the motor to the pore, else Brownian motion of long DNA can act to pull the complex off, even against the electric field), but how many pores are sequencing at a given time and how does that number drop off over time?
The occupancy/speed is customisable. Faster movement has a quality reduction and greater chance of missed bases. From reading one of the press releases (I forget which one), it sounded like the USB MinION would run for no more than 10 hours, but the GridION cartridges could keep going for a few days. Samples can be ejected during a run and shifted to other cartridges, cartridges can be replaced, runs can be started at any time, and stopped due to a number of different desired factors, so any drop-off in occupancy probably won't have too much impact on result output (as long as there's still money to burn).
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