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Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing uses sequence by synthesis (SBS) technology, but has moved away from optics altogether. Library preparation involves coating beads in individual library fragments. Each bead is then deposited in its own well of a semiconductor plate. The wells are flooded sequentially with each of the four DNA base pairs. If one is incorporated into the growing strand, the hydrogen ions released cause a change in pH, which is recorded by the semiconductor chip at the bottom of each well. Homopolymer runs are detected as larger spikes in pH change. Ion Torrent runs are faster due to the lack of optics and lack of modified bases requiring chemical alteration.
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