Two Pore Guys (2PG) said today it plans to develop sensitive, low-cost molecular diagnostic tests for tuberculosis using its solid-state nanopore technology, through a $2.8 million grant it has won from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The 18-month grant is designed to fund proof-of-concept work to determine if the company’s technology can offer an easy-to-use, sensitive and low-cost point-of-care device compatible with automated, wireless reporting for resource-poor settings.
2PG’s devices combine proprietary biochemistry, and standard reagents with silicon nanopore chips which are designed to examine a wide range of individual analytes with high sensitivity—and which differ from biological nanopores used in some DNA sequencing technologies. The silicon nanopore sensor used in the devices is digital and measures an electrical current. The signal is quantified to provide a test result, with the data wirelessly transmitted to authorized IT systems, including on the cloud.
2PG’s 1-pore devices use a nanopore to offer single-molecule detection designed to be accurate and inexpensive, while the company’s 2-pore devices are intended for rapid electronic mapping and sequencing of genomes.
In “Single Molecule DNA Resensing Using a Two-Pore Device,” published October 17 in the journal Small, a team led by William Dunbar, co-founder and interim CEO of Two Pore Guys and Walter Reisner, PhD, of McGill University, detailed 2PG’s 2-pore technology, which is designed to enable independent sensing and resensing of a single DNA molecule translocating through two nanopores with sub-micrometer spacing.
“The device concept is based upon integrating a thin nitride membrane with microchannels etched in borosilicate glass,” the researchers reported. “Pores, coupled to each microchannel, are connected via a fluid-filled half-space on the device backside, enabling translocation of molecules across each pore in sequence.”
2PG says its workflows can support multiplexed and multi-modal assays, for applications that include testing for DNA/RNA and analyte/protein from a single sample source. 2PG’s patented methods also permit genotyping for applications such as detecting drug resistance.
“Our point-of-care technology platform offers tremendous value to address medical testing needs in resource-limited areas,” Dunbar said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for this support and for their enthusiasm about the promise of our technology. We hope to make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world who need better access to affordable TB care.”
In September 2017, 2PG won a $50,000 grant designed to help the company assess novel, low cost nucleic acid detection technologies for use in low resource settings.