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Old 05-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default Novel theoretical NGS methods

I got a BS in molecular biology about a year ago and currently work in biotech, although I do virtually no work with DNA I find DNA sequencing and synthesis very interesting.

During my senior year I took a bioengineering class taught by one of the developers of Ion Torrent. One of the projects for the class was to think up a novel sequencing technology and talk about how we might theoretically develop it. Unfortunately we never got to see the other students proposals but I wanted to hear what you all think about my proposal.

Basically my proposal was to anchor the ssDNA of interest to microscopic cantilevers. Such micro-mechanical cantilevers are already used in biosensor applications. Next the test chamber would be treated with polymerase and a single dNTP as in typical sequence by synthesis protocol. Then an electrical field would be applied and the DNA would be pulled as it would be in gel electrophoresis. The deflection of the cantilever should be proportional to the force exerted on the DNA and one could tell if the DNA strand had grown if the deflection increased.

Would this kind of thing work? Are there any NGS techniques in use or development that rely on mass? My thinking was that this kind of design would eliminate the need for enzymes as in 454 or modified dNTPs as in Sanger or Illumina sequencing.

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