How does it work?
Simple natural chemistry helps result in unmatched uniformity of coverage.
Ion Torrent™ uses simple sequencing chemistry including natural nucleotides, no enzymatic cascade, no fluorescence, no chemiluminescence, no optics, no light: The Chip is the Machine.™ Ion Torrent™ pairs proprietary semiconductor technology with a simple sequencing chemistry that is based on a well-characterized biochemical process.
In nature, when a nucleotide is incorporated into a strand of DNA by a polymerase, a hydrogen ion is released as a byproduct.
Ion Torrent™ uses a high-density array of micro-machined wells to perform this biochemical process in a massively parallel way. Each well holds a different DNA template. Beneath the wells is an ion-sensitive layer and beneath that a proprietary Ion sensor.
Here’s how the technology is used to call a base: If a nucleotide, for example a C, is added to a DNA template and is then incorporated into a strand of DNA, a hydrogen ion will be released. The charge from that ion will change the pH of the solution, which can be detected by our proprietary ion sensor. Our sequencer - essentially the world's smallest solid-state pH meter - will call the base, going directly from chemical information to digital information.
The Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™) sequencer then sequentially floods the chip with one nucleotide after another. If the next nucleotide that floods the chip is not a match, no voltage change will be recorded and no base will be called.
The semiconductor will inevitably transform the life sciences, just as it has transformed every other industry it has touched. By creating a direct connection between chemical and digital information, Ion Torrent™ will democratize research, providing a fast, simple, scalable sequencing solution that every lab can afford. Eventually, Ion Torrent Technology™ will also be able to provide diagnostics that are less expensive and more reliable, improving human health around the world.
For Research Use Only. Not intended for any animal or human therapeutic or diagnostic use.