3-D Sequencing enables many more reads than currently available systems which use 2-D flowcells where fragments are read on a surface, and also spatial sequencing of cells and tissue.
To enable 3-D sequencing a number of unique capabilities are needed – true confocal scanning, open fluidics and volumetric amplification. Single has proprietary technology for all these parts.
After proving the concepts and sequencing over 50 bases the focus is now on improving performance. Main areas are scanning speed, how densely fragments could be distributed, and also sequencing reaction times.
The system is highly sensitive, massively parallel and scanning times are already 800 x faster than current confocal microscopes.
As the system scans samples in 3-D the most determining parameter for how many reads can be scanned per time in a run is how densely fragments could be packed. The product development plan is to step by step increase the scanning speed and the density of fragments.
For the Data Production Site Theta 64 will be ready, which is an automated system with 64 parallel detectors, and the open flow cells will enable a spacing between fragments of 2 um.
For the first external placements Theta 128 will be ready, with twice as many detectors and four times the scanning speed. The spacing of the open flow cell is then planned to be 1 um thus allowing 8 times as many reads per volume. Together this will increase the number of reads that could be scanned per time 32 times, and enable a maximum of 557 Tb per year for a system.