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Nanopore Sequencing and Machine Learning Powered-Platform Enables High-Accuracy, High-Frequency COVID-19 Testing

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 14 Oct 2020
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A newly-launched nanopore sequencing and machine learning powered platform enables high-accuracy, high-frequency, low-cost COVID-19 and respiratory pathogen testing, allowing businesses, educational institutions, and other points of frequent gathering to resume operations safely.

The new AMPD platform launched by Angstrom Bio, Inc. (Austin, TX, USA) leverages the extreme resolution and bandwidth of nanopore sequencing to provide the accuracy and volume necessary to detect the earliest stages of exposure to pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. At the heart of AMPD is a novel nucleotide chemistry and computational biology platform designed to harness the bandwidth and resolution of Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ (Oxford, UK) nanopore Third-Generation Sequencing (TGS) systems. Unlike diagnostic systems that rely upon fluorescence-driven workflows for diagnostic analysis, nanopore TGS counts individual DNA molecules that pass through each of hundreds of nano-scale pores in a specially-designed membrane. The combination of single-molecule resolution and parallelism allow for the processing of tens of thousands of diagnostic results per AMPD run, while enabling orders of magnitude greater sensitivity than is currently available. This makes AMPD ideal for parties that require timely access to affordable, repeated testing, but that cannot compromise safety.

AMPD utilizes a simple, self-collected saliva sample that not only avoids the discomfort associated with traditional swabs. Samples are registered and collected on-site using simple workflows then processed in an automated AMPD facility, with results delivered within 24 hours. Angstrom intends to bring more than one million results per day online in 2021, at prices that enable nearly any organization to have access to repeated, high-quality testing.

“By leveraging the extraordinary resolution and bandwidth of nanopore sequencing and the power of our machine learning-driven diagnostic pipelines, and by rethinking pre-COVID-19 diagnostic workflows, we have been able to design a platform that can provide the extreme scale and accuracy required to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Carlos F. Santos, Ph.D., Angstrom's CEO.

Related Links:
Angstrom Bio, Inc.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies

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