Oxford Nanopore launches pocket-size data analysis tool for portable DNA sequencing

The MinIT data processor, can be powered by a battery pack, operated with a smartphone and comes preloaded with software to run sequencing experiments. (Oxford Nanopore)

Oxford Nanopore has launched MinIT, a pocket-size data analysis device and processor that works with the company’s portable MinION DNA/RNA sequencer to offer mobile, high-throughput genomics research.

With the ability to be powered by an external battery pack, the MinIT can be used outside the laboratory and in the field—Oxford Nanopore cites examples of researchers on a farm in East Africa identifying pathogens affecting crops, or gathering real-time information aboard marine research vessels.

Other applications include the rapid characterization of infectious disease samples, cancer research and food testing, the company said. Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing devices measure changes in electrical current as a strand of DNA passes through a small, nanoscale holes in proteins.

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The MinIT data processor, powered by a NVIDIA AGX system, can be operated with a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and it comes preconfigured with software to run nanopore sequencing experiments. It is also compatible with Oxford Nanopore’s Flongle, an adapter for the MinION for smaller, lower-cost tests.

RELATED: Oxford Nanopore raises $140M to set up sequencing showdown with Illumina

In addition, the company released its latest Rev D integrated circuit chip for its MinION consumable flow cell earlier this month, which it says can help generate up to 30 Gb of data over the use of a single flow cell.

In March, Oxford Nanopore raised $140 million from an international syndicate of investors to fuel its attempts to break into the genome sequencing market. The company said it will use the money to establish a high-volume manufacturing facility in Oxford, U.K., and scale up its commercial operations while also investing in R&D. That round valued the company at about $2.0 billion.