NSC banner

The University of Washington Nanopore Sequencing Core provides DNA and RNA sequencing services on the Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) platform. For collaborators, we perform library preparation and sequencing from a variety of sample inputs, including blood, saliva, buccal swab, cell pellet, and direct DNA or RNA submissions.

This page provides detailed information on available services and how to prepare, package, and ship your samples. Before submitting samples, we ask that you please contact us for a consultation.

Our Sample Submission Process:

  • Call or email us to discuss your sequencing needs.
  • Submit a sequencing intake form. Please note that the more completely you fill out the manifest portion of the intake form, the more accurate your estimate will be.
  • Look for your cost estimate to be issued via email, sign it, and return to us.
  • Prepare and ship your samples following the guidelines described below.
  • We will notify you when we have received your samples and provide an estimated timeline for the work.


Nanopore sequencing is a third-generation sequencing technology that allows for analysis of DNA and RNA sequences without amplification or modification. As nucleic acids pass through protein nanopores, changes in electric current are detected and subsequently decoded into bases, preserving methylation and modifications to the original sequences. With the PromethION and GridION instruments, we generate high-quality datasets with average read lengths of 10–60 kb, suitable for long-read applications such as de novo assembly, structural variant discovery, splice variant discovery, and methylation analysis.

Nanopore read length
DNA Extraction and Purification

DNA extraction and purification services are available on some material inputs, including cell pellets, saliva, buccal swabs, and blood. Please see Sample Preparation below for more detail. Contact us to discuss tissue extractions.

Sample QC, Shearing & Size Selection

For all samples, DNA will be quantified using the Qubit, a NanoDrop will be used to assess possible extraction carryover and RNA content (260:230 and 260:280 ratios, respectively), and the Agilent Femto Pulse system is used to evaluate DNA for quality and fragment length. Shearing and size selection are performed only if necessary.

Library Preparation

Library preparations methods depend on the type of samples being sequenced. We typically use a ligation library prep for DNA sequencing and a cDNA prep for RNA sequencing, however we also offer direct RNA and rapid library preps.

We also accept already prepared libraries for sequencing, but please be aware that we are unable to perform our typical QC on those and thus cannot guarantee their performance. Results can and do vary based on the quality of the extraction and library preparation methods used. As the saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out."

Sequencing & Basecalling

We offer several sequencing options on the PromethION platform. Sequenced libraries may produce datasets of more than 120 Gb, or ~30–40x coverage of the human genome. The raw signal output for all samples will be basecalled using Dorado.

  • Whole-genome sequencing
  • Targeted genome sequencing
  • cDNA sequencing
  • Direct RNA sequencing
  • Barcoding

We can help you determine which sequencing services are right for your project. Contact us to set up a consultation and to recieve an estimate.

Methylation Calling

Our standard analysis pipeline calls 5mCG/5hmCG modifications when sequencing native DNA. The calls will be provided as tags in the unaligned bam files that are returned when sequencing is complete. Although not included in our standard analysis, we can also call 6mA on request.


Service Internal UW* External Academic or Nonprofit Industry
Quality Control
Sample QC $57.13 $66.05 $82.56
HMW gDNA Extraction from Blood or Cells $96.36 $111.39 $139.24
HMW gDNA Extraction from Saliva $182.55 $211.03 $263.79
RNA Extraction $94.69 $109.46 $136.82
Size Selection
Shearing $48.27 $55.80 $69.75
SRE Size Selection $96.94 $112.06 $140.08
BluePippin Cleanup and Size Selection $117.65 $136.00 $170.00
Library Preparation
Ligation Library Prep $335.97 $388.38 $485.47
Rapid Sequencing Library Prep $360.65 $416.91 $521.14
cDNA Library Prep $248.57 $287.34 $359.18
Direct RNA Sequencing Library Prep $407.13 $470.64 $588.30
Sequencing materials and time on the PromethION $1,205.55 $1,393.61 $1,742.02
Sequencing materials and time on the GridION $1,040.58 $1,202.91 $1,503.64
Analysis (per hour) $157.40 $181.95 $227.44

*Staff and faculty at the University of Washington paying with a UW budget number receive the Internal rate; all others are charged the External or Industry rate. Rates are subject to change without notice.

Additional services

We also offer barcoding of samples. If you are interested in this service, please contact us to discuss your needs.


Genome coverage and read length distributions in your aligned data are highly dependent on the quality of input material. The following guidelines will help ensure you receive the highest quality data possible.

Accepted Sample Types

We currently accept cell pellets, saliva samples, buccal swabs, and blood sample inputs, as well as DNA and RNA submissions. For other sample types, please inquire directly. Follow the guidelines below for your specific sample type.

Cell Pellets

Please submit between 1 x 10e5 and 1 x 10e7 cells per pellet. Cells must be frozen as pellets in conical tubes. Microcentrifuge tubes should be double-packed into larger conical tubes and shipped in a polystyrene box filled at least halfway with dry ice. Send these samples using next-day delivery service, for delivery between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.*

Saliva and Buccal Swabs

Saliva and buccal swabs collected using DNA Genotek kits can be shipped at room temperature in padded envelopes. Our current extraction protocol uses PrepIT.L2P.


Our recommendation for stabilizing blood samples is to use a PAXgene blood DNA tube. PAXgene tubes can be shipped to us at room temperature within one week of collection. They can be shipped frozen within 2 months of collection. Frozen PAXgene tubes should be shipped horizontally.

If PAXgene tubes are not available, blood must be stabilized with EDTA, citrate, or heparin in a vacutainer. If possible, blood should not be frozen. If blood must be frozen and shipped, it should be flash frozen quickly after collection and shipped on dry ice.

Please inquire directly about pick up or drop off of fresh samples in the Seattle area.

Our current extraction protocol uses the Monarch® HMW DNA Extraction Kit for Cells & Blood for frozen blood with 500 µL to 2 mL input or the Puregene Blood Kit for fresh blood with 2+ mL of input.


For DNA submission, please run a standard or pulsed-field gel, BioAnalyzer, or TapeStation to visualize DNA quality and length before submitting. If your sample looks degraded, re-extract the sample or plan for shorter read lengths. While ~30–40x coverage of the human genome may be achieved with one PromethION flow cell, poor quality DNA will not yield these results. If submitting old, highly fragmented, or otherwise degraded DNA, you should expect ~10–20x coverage.

Additional guidelines:

  • Total material requirements for whole-genome sequencing are 6 µg.
  • Minimum volume is 10 µL.
  • Ideal concentration range is 60 ng/µL to 120 ng/µL.
  • For best results, use a high molecular weight DNA extraction protocol.
  • Do not use DNA isolation protocols containing glycogen.
  • Extraction methods should preserve long fragment lengths and avoid repetitive mechanical pipetting or spin columns.
  • We strongly recommend using an RNase during DNA extraction.
  • Ideal submissions are RNA- and protein-free.
  • Ensure that your elution buffer does not contain residual denaturants (salts, phenol) or detergents (Triton, SDS).
  • Avoid freeze–thaw cycles, and do not expose to high temperatures (>65°C) for more than 1 hour.

Ship DNA in LoBind microcentrifuge tubes or LoBind PCR plates (Eppendorf). Pad and insulate your samples to minimize shearing during shipping.


For direct RNA submission, please contact us to discuss the guidelines.

Still have questions?

We’re happy to help! Just send an email or call us at (206) 543-4048.


If you would like to drop off your samples in person, we accept delivery 9 am – 11 am on weekdays.

For shipping, please plan for weekday delivery only, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.* All samples should be delivered to:

University of Washington Nanopore Sequencing Core
c/o Joy Goffena
1705 NE Pacific St.
HSB RM H-458
Seattle, WA 98195

For all deliveries:

  • Email us with your expected delivery date, tracking number, and digital version of your sample manifest.
  • In your delivery package, include your sample manifest printed at a readable size. Please include your name, institution, and email address on the manifest.

* Please do not send packages for first morning delivery. FedEx and UPS do not have early morning access to our building, so deliveries arriving prior to 9 am, including FedEx First Overnight deliveries, may be delayed by one or more days.

* Please do not send packages to arrive on weekends or after 4:00 pm on weekdays.

* Please do not ship samples without contacting us first.