Noblegen Biosciences has been awarded a $182,000 one-year phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop its "optipore" sequencing technology, the company disclosed this month.
Noblegen is developing a DNA sequencing platform that combines solid-state nanopores with optical detection. It converts DNA prior to sequencing, replacing each nucleotide with an oligonucleotide, and then hybridizes color-coded molecular beacons to the converted DNA that are stripped off when the molecule runs through a nanopore (IS 6/14/2011).
According to the grant abstract, the company plans to use the funding to develop a synthetic probe library design that will enable cyclical processing and four-color readout of the bases, and to develop and optimize the steps of the circular DNA conversion cycle to prepare the template DNA.
Up until now, the company had been funded through seed funding and government grants to its scientific founder, Amit Meller, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and physics at Boston University.