Nanopore Sequencing and DNA Barcoding Combined for Disease Diagnosis

Researchers at Imperial College London, in collaboration with Oxford Nanopore Technologies, have developed a new method combining nanopore sequencing and DNA barcoding for diagnosing diseases. Traditional blood tests typically focus on a limited number of biomarkers. This innovative approach allows the simultaneous analysis of dozens of biomarkers of various types from a single clinical sample. For instance, in a proof-of-concept study, the method detected 40 different types of miRNA molecules, expanding the scope of potential biomarkers. The test involves mixing blood samples with DNA barcodes and utilizing a handheld device, the MinION, to read electrical signatures from nanopores, providing a comprehensive profile for precise disease diagnosis. The adaptable nature of this method suggests broader applications in detecting various diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative conditions. The researchers aim to validate the results with clinical samples from heart failure patients, paving the way for personalized and efficient diagnostic tools in the future. The study is published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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