Nanopore sensing technology can uniquely be miniaturised for portable analysis of DNA and other biological molecules. The handheld MinION is already established for portable DNA sequencing. Oxford Nanopore has now started developing an even smaller device, SmidgION.
The end-to-end process of sample preparation, measurement and analysis for nanopore technology is become increasingly simplified. For example, new kits allow ten minute library preparation, the VolTRAX will provide programmable hands-off sample preparation, and Oxford Nanopore provides analysis workflows such as ‘What’s in my Pot’ (WIMP). As end-to-end analysis becomes more accessible, the SmidgION is being designed to allow analyses by more people and in more locations.
SmidgION uses the same core nanopore sensing technology as MinION and PromethION but will be designed for use with smartphones or other mobile, low power devices. It is designed to cater for a broad range of field-based analyses; potential applications may include remote monitoring of pathogens in a breakout or infectious disease; the on-site analysis of environmental samples such as water/metagenomics samples, real time species ID for analysis of food, timber, wildlife or even unknown samples; field-based analysis of agricultural environments, and much more.