Today I picked another company from my list of active DNA sequencing companies, iNanoBio!

INanobio is a Arizona State University (ASU) spinoff company. As far as I can tell from SEC filing [1] they’ve raised about 500KUSD. SEC filings also indicate they they were looking to raise 4MUSD in 2017, but I couldn’t see evidence that this has closed.


A significant challenge for nanopore sequencing is the speed at which DNA moves through the pore. One approach is to use enzymatic methods to slow the translocation of the DNA so it can more easily be read. iNanoBio is attempting to increase the read speed, so that they can sense DNA at 100Mhz to 1GHz as it passes through the pore.

As their patent [2] states, ionic mobility limits the rate you can measure changes in ionic current across a nanopore (they suggest ~10ms, which seems too slow, and don’t appear to provide a reference, if anyone has one I’d be most interested). They also suggest that tunnelling current measurement speed will be limited by quantum mechanical noise.

So instead of this they look at the base charges, specifically they say “dipole variations between individual bases”. The charges are detected by a novel FET transistor embedded in the nanopore. The nanopore has this sharp, conical shape. I assume this is designed to help avoid field contributions from multiple bases.

This sounds very neat, but I imagine generating the required signal level at >100MHz is challenging. It also feels like ensuring you only have charge contributions from a single (or small number) of basis would be problematic.

Never the less, if it works it’s a very neat idea. A 2014 youtube video suggests that they should be ready for research applications this or next year [3]… so I’ll keep an eye out!