Armonica Technologies, Inc., a biotechnology company developing a novel DNA sequencing system based on nano-structure devices, announced that the company has been awarded an SBIR grant from the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute for “Single molecule DNA/RNA transport and Raman scattering readout in a coupled nanochannel/nanopore sequencing system.” The award of $350K is in support of the company’s single molecule sequencing technology aimed at long read sequencing of large DNA molecules.

The company’s CSO Steve Brueck said, “long-read single-molecule sequencing that directly reads native DNA with epigenetic modifications, is considered the ideal solution for DNA sequencing research and clinical applications. Armonica’s unique technology is label and amplification free, and provides the exciting capability to read the optical spectra, or ‘spectral fingerprint’, of individual nucleotides including any epigenetic modifications.” As part of the award, Armonica is partnering with University of New Mexico through Jeremy Edwards’ high-throughput DNA sequencing laboratory in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Armonica has demonstrated the ability to linearize and control the motion of single large molecules of single and double strand DNA, and has demonstrated single base sensitivity using a proprietary surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) approach that is inexpensively integrated with its nanochannel/nanopore devices.

The company’s CEO, Victor Esch, stated, “Armonica continues to make significant improvements to the performance of our groundbreaking technology, and we are honored that the NIH has awarded us this grant in support of our product development goals.”

Armonica’s proprietary platform addresses the fundamental challenges involved with pore-based sequencing technologies, such as low throughput and limited accuracy, by naturally controlling the speed of nucleic acid transport through nanochannels and reading single base spectra optically, without the need for library preparations or biological manipulation. Armonica’s optical readout technology is label free, has massively parallel capabilities, and directly detects epigenetic nucleotide modifications. This unique approach will enable long-read sequencing and provide life science researchers with a powerful tool that can detect presently inaccessible nuances and provide more accurate identification of genome variations