Friday, 20 June 2014

An Intro to BioNano's Irys System

The BioNano Irys System is an alternative way to look at whole genomes, specifically structural variation. Although it isn't classed as a NGS instrument it has some similarities and could be beneficial when used in conjunction with sequencing. Similar to NGS, the Irys system can be used for genome mapping and de novo assembly. BioNano boasts that the Irys can generate several Gb per hour and can run long sections of DNA at a time.

From the BioNano website
Like NGS, the sample requires some preparation prior to running whereby the DNA is fluorescently labelled. Unlike NGS, this method does not require PCR which eliminates the possibility of PCR bias. Single stranded DNA is used to prevent entwining on itself.

The prepared DNA is fed into Irys Nanochannel which untangles in solution and is moved along the flowcell by electrophoresis. The current is briefly turned off, the DNA is stretched and the machine takes an image of the DNA by exciting the fluorescence. The image is taken with hundreds of thousands of bases of the sequence motifs. This is the data used to create the genome map.

The instrument costs $295,000 which is expensive but not if your used to purchasing NGS instruments.