Advancing Epigenetics

We are revolutionizing the field of epigenetics by enabling research and analyses not previously possible.

Bringing the Lab to the Point of Care

with portable, sensitive, lab-on-a-chip detection of genetic sequences.

A breakthrough for epigenetics research and diagnostics

Epigenetic modifications to DNA are linked to a wide range of human diseases and disorders, including cancers, autoimmune disorders, psychological disorders, and injuries from radiation and chemical exposure. Scientists’ ability to study these modifications and their impact on human health has been impeded by inadequate and outdated technologies. Foenestra’s technology opens a new frontier of innovation in epigenetics research and diagnostics.

A new way to identify pathogens at the point of need

Point-of-need tests can deliver fast results at a lower cost than lab-based tests, but lack the accuracy and precision of their lab-based counterparts. Now Foenestra has developed a technology that brings the robustness of lab-based tests to the field. Our portable, low-cost “lab on a chip” technology identifies and quantifies any targeted DNA or RNA of interest – from antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in the emergency room, to parasites in our drinking water.

A new way to identify pathogens at the point of need

Two Technologies, One Solution

We combine two distinct proprietary technologies to deliver an integrated solution for rapid, automated, sensitive, selective detection of epigenetic modifications to DNA.

Epigenetic Labeling

We are able to identify seven distinct epigenetic modifications, labeling them with markers that enable their detection with conventional sequencing, microarray, and PCR technologies.

Sequence Detection

Our solid state nanopore sequence detection technology identifies and quantifies with high precision the presence of targeted (labeled) genetic sequences.


We are developing products that will enable researchers to study epigenetic modifications that can’t be accessed with current technologies.

Our products also improve the accuracy and reduce the cost of epigenetic research being conducted today.


Sample Prep Kits

We are developing sample prep kits which will allow researchers to label epigenetic modifications for analysis with sequencers, microarrays, and PCR.


We are also developing a microfluidics-based system that fully automates the sample prep and analysis in a consumable “lab on a chip” cartridge.

Selected Publications

Selective detection and quantification of modified DNA with solid-state nanopores

A. T. Carlsen, O. K. Zahid, J. A. Ruzicka, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 14 (10), 5488-92, 2014 (cover article)

Sequence-specific recognition of microRNAs and other short nucleic acids with solid-state nanopores

O. K. Zahid, F. Wang, J. A. Ruzicka, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 16 (3), 2033-2039, 2016

Solid-state nanopore analysis of diverse DNA base modifications using a modular enzymatic labeling process

F. Wang, O. K. Zahid, B. Swain, D. Parsonage, T. Hollis, S. Harvey, F. Perrino, R. M. Kohli, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 17 (11), 7110-7116, 2017

Label-free analysis of physiological hyaluronan size distribution with a solid-state nanopore sensor

F. Rivas, O. K. Zahid, H. L. Reesink, B. T. Peal, A. J. Nixon, P. L. DeAngelis, A. Skardal, E. Rahbar, and A. R. Hall, Nature Communications, 9, 1037, 2018


We are based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the home of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

500 W. 5th Street
Suite 400
Winston-Salem, NC 27101