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Oxford, United Kingdom

Villar G.,University of Oxford | Heron A.J.,University of Oxford | Heron A.J.,Oxford Nanopore Technologies | Bayley H.,University of Oxford
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

Aqueous droplets in oil that are coated with lipid monolayers and joined through interface bilayers 1,2 are useful for biophysical measurements on membrane proteins 2-5. Functional networks of droplets that can act as light sensors, batteries and electrical components can also be made by incorporating pumps, channels and pores into the bilayers 2,6. These networks of droplets mimic simple tissues 7, but so far have not been used in physiological environments because they have been constrained to a bulk oil phase. Here, we form structures called multisomes in which networks of aqueous droplets with defined compositions are encapsulated within small drops of oil in water. The encapsulated droplets adhere to one another and to the surface of the oil drop to form interface bilayers that allow them to communicate with each other and with the surrounding aqueous environment through membrane pores. The contents in the droplets can be released by changing the pH or temperature of the surrounding solution. The multicompartment framework of multisomes mimics a tissue 7-9 and has potential applications in synthetic biology and medicine. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies | Date: 2014-06-11

To form a layer separating two volumes of aqueous solution, there is used an apparatus comprising elements defining a chamber, the elements including a body of non-conductive material having formed therein at least one recess opening into the chamber, the recess containing an electrode. A pre-treatment coating of a hydrophobic fluid is applied to the body across the recess. Aqueous solution, having amphiphilic molecules added thereto, is flowed across the body to cover the recess so that aqueous solution is introduced into the recess from the chamber and a layer of the amphiphilic molecules forms across the recess separating a volume of aqueous solution introduced into the recess from the remaining volume of aqueous solution.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies | Date: 2014-08-08

The invention relates to constructs comprising a transmembrane protein pore subunit and a nucleic acid handling enzyme. The pore subunit is covalently attached to the enzyme such that both the subunit and enzyme retain their activity. The constructs can be used to generate transmembrane protein pores having a nucleic acid handling enzyme attached thereto. Such pores are particularly useful for sequencing nucleic acids. The enzyme handles the nucleic acid in such a way that the pore can detect its component nucleotides by stochastic sensing.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 8.71M | Year: 2012

We propose a technology that will sit at the front-end of sequencing pipelines, present and future, and will significantly enhance the quality and throughput of DNA sequencing. Although much attention has been given to throughput/cost of the sequencing process itself, the same cannot be said for the preparation of samples. Identified bottlenecks are (1) sequencing technologies require days of upfront sample preparation which is further increased when sequencing selected parts of the genome; (2) genome assembly relies on computationally intensive comparisons to the reference genome because existing technologies produce short sequence reads; (3) it is difficult to begin with small amounts of sample material comprising micro-biopsies and single cells. The CELL-O-MATIC project will synergize efforts from SMEs, academics and large companies to address these bottlenecks by developing chip-based systems that process DNA from individual cells, ready for next generation high-throughput sequencing. Single cell analysis has numerous applications in systems biology but we will emphasize DNA isolation and sequencing from circulating tumor cells (CTC), which have a strong prognostic value in cancer management. A second innovation will be to develop methods that enable up to whole chromosome lengths of DNA to be contiguously mapped using nanofluidics. The inclusion of nanofluidics makes the project particularly distinctive and introduces European SMEs to an area that so far has been the domain of US companies. A modular prototype comprising, a chip, fluid and thermal control, sonication and optical detection will be developed. Samples prepared using CELL-O-MATIC technology will be benchmarked in a high throughput environment with samples prepared by existing methods. Finally, the information obtained from the CELL-O-MATIC processed sample material will be validated for its utility as an aid to clinical decision making.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies | Date: 2014-01-22

The invention relates to new methods of moving helicases past spacers on polynucleotides and controlling the loading of helicases on polynucleotides. The invention also relates to new methods of characterising target polynucleotides using helicases.

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