Liquid biopsy

More answers with greater sensitivity and reduced sequencing depth

Connect with a PacBio scientist

Tertiary hero overlay
Sprite decoration

Highly accurate sequencing for liquid biopsy

Unlock exciting new possibilities in liquid biopsy research with PacBio short-read sequencing-by-binding (SBB) technology. SBB delivers incredible Q40+ accuracy – far exceeding the capabilities of traditional short-read platforms. This means less noise and more sensitivity for detecting even the rarest variants. Paired with a lower coverage requirement and superior performance in low complexity regions, PacBio SBB technology provides a more comprehensive solution enabling cancer researchers to see the unseen and drive progress in liquid biopsy like never before.

white icon for sensitivity

Increased sensitivity

Get superior ctDNA detection by reducing noise due to sequencing errors


Reduced sequencing

Q40+ accuracy provides high quality mutation detection at lower read depths than SBS for improved efficiency


Compatible workflow

Easily integrates with existing short-read sequencing assays and analysis pipelines

The value of Q40+ sequencing accuracy with SBB for liquid biopsy



“Our early access data demonstrates the ability to accurately detect ultra-low variants without the need for high-complexity error correction across a broad spectrum of applications, including infectious disease and liquid biopsy research.”

— Stephanie Pond, Vice President of Emerging Opportunities at TGen

Why SBB for liquid biopsy sequencing?

Liquid biopsy comparison image for SBB vs SBS sequencing Variant detection performance was tested for SBB and SBS sequencing using the SeraCare Complete ctDNA Mutation Mix across five variant allele frequencies: 0% (WT), 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.25%, and 0.5%. The Onso system achieved nearly double the sensitivity for rare variant detection with equivalent coverage (left, 6,000X SBB UMI- vs 6,000X SBS UMI-). The Onso system also demonstrated equivalent or better performance with 4-fold less sequencing (right, 6,000X SBB UMI+ vs 24,000X SBS UMI+).

Sprite decoration

On-demand webinar

A new age in liquid biopsy research with highly accurate short-read sequencing

New, proprietary technology from PacBio delivers a 10 to 100-fold increase in accuracy over traditional short-read sequencing platforms. With enhanced sensitivity and reduced sequencing depth, PacBio short-read sequencing technology empowers cancer researchers to see what they haven’t been able to before.

In this webinar, learn about game-changing liquid biopsy research capabilities made possible by the Onso sequencing system and powered by proprietary sequencing by binding (SBB) chemistry.

Watch now

Sprite decoration

Next-level discovery in liquid biopsy

Liquid biopsy is revolutionizing oncology research through the non-invasive detection of tumor DNA. But are you confident your assay is seeing everything there is to discover?

Many existing liquid biopsy techniques rely on extreme sequencing depth and complex error-correction strategies to compensate for lackluster sequencing performance. Even so, there is so much more that is waiting to be discovered. Listening to the needs of the cancer research community, PacBio has introduced a next-generation liquid biopsy development solution with the Onso short-read sequencing system. This cutting-edge platform can enable you to detect ctDNA earlier, and with less sequencing thanks to the superior Q40+ accuracy of proprietary SBB chemistry.

The Onso short-read system for liquid biopsy

The Onso system has the potential to lower the limit of detection for ctDNA, improving sensitivity and reducing sequencing requirements. This enables the identification of variants missed by other short-read sequencing platforms.

Learn more


SBB: Sequencing by binding

Proprietary SBB chemistry uses native nucleotides, scarless incorporation, and optimized conditions for binding and extension, resulting in data with decreased errors and improved performance in repetitive regions.

Learn more


The new way to do liquid biopsy

Learn more about how the Onso system is able to achieve Q40+ sequencing accuracy through our SBB chemistry and how our workflow seamlessly integrates with your current short-read sequencing process.

Watch video

Sprite decoration


Why SBB could be a game-changer for liquid biopsy research

In this article we will investigate how an important new PacBio short-read sequencing chemistry called sequencing by binding (SBB) has the potential to help revolutionize liquid biopsy and cancer diagnostic research

Learn more

Validating the data

data masonry image showing GATACA letters representing data

SeraCare dataset

Download this dataset and see the power of Q40+ sequencing in liquid biopsy for yourself.

See the data

SeraCare app brief masonry image - Stylized image of pages, representing an application brief

SeraCare app brief

Discover how the accuracy of the Onso system results in increased sensitivity and reduced sequencing depth requirements for detecting rare mutations in a ctDNA reference sample.

Learn more

Onso library prep - A stylized image of a 96-well plate, representing Onso library prep

Onso library preparation

Leveraging proven next generation sequencing workflows, Onso libraries can be created in as little as 3 hours from a wide range of sample types, including from existing libraries.

Learn more

Sprite decoration


10,000+ articles, reports, papers, and videos.

Explore resources

Application brief


Unlock the accuracy needed for liquid biopsy with the Onso system

Liquid biopsy, a noninvasive assay for circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in blood, holds the promise to revolutionize research on cancer detection and monitoring. Current sequencing by synthesis (SBS) approaches to liquid biopsy are constrained by their accuracy, which affects the limit of detection of rare variants. However, the introduction of the Onso system, powered by the extraordinary accuracy of sequencing by binding (SBB) chemistry, now enables the sensitivity necessary to detect low-frequency variants in liquid biopsy applications.

Learn more

Sprite decoration
Image of Sequel IIe, Revio and Onso sequencing systems - PacBio

This is your moment

PacBio sequencers empower you to better understand the complex biology of cancer. Reveal more variants, including isoforms, fusions, and structural variants with exceptional accuracy.

Explore cancer research solutions     Explore products

Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.