Cell3™ Target: Custom NGS Panels

Enabling targeted resequencing for prenatal testing

Cell3™ Target is a novel enrichment system developed for prenatal diagnosis converting cell-free DNA
or genomic DNA into libraries for next generation sequencing.


Validated for cell-free and genomic DNA

NGS enrichment developed for and validated on cell-free DNA as well as gDNA for prenatal applications like non-invasive prenatal diagnosis

Confidently detect fetal fraction in maternal blood

QC validation by NGS guarantees uniformity of coverage which combined with error suppression technology ensures confident detection of even the lowest fetal fraction


Simple and rapid design process

Our online probe design tool means you can design and optimise a panel in minutes and our novel rapid manufacture process means you will receive your panel within 4 weeks of ordering.

Optimised for large and small panels

Cell3 Target enrichment has been optimised to deliver efficient target capture and unrivalled on-target performance regardless of panel size from 1 gene to 1,000.

Non-invasive prenatal testing

Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) are degraded DNA fragments released into the bloodstream through a natural process of cell death. During pregnancy, the mother’s blood contains cfDNA from her own tissue and from the fetus (cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA)) via the placenta.  Sequence analysis of cfDNA from a sample of maternal blood can therefore provide genetic information about the fetus and inform clinical decisions without the need for invasive techniques like amniocentesis. However, as only between 2 and 20% of the total cell-free DNA in maternal blood is fetal1,2 (the fetal fraction), its analysis requires ultra-sensitive sequencing methods capable of accurately detecting genetic variants in samples with even the lowest of fetal fractions.

Targeted NGS/resequencing panels for NIPD or prenatal testing

Targeted sequencing, through the use of custom designed NGS panels, offers a cost-effective method for the ultra-sensitive sequencing required for non-invasive prenatal genetics. Without the data burden of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) or whole-exome sequencing (WES) it allows researchers to achieve very high depths of coverage providing the increased sensitivity and accuracy needed for the analysis of low abundance cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA).

Cell3™ Target is a novel target enrichment system developed by Nonacus for converting cell-free DNA or genomic DNA into libraries for next generation sequencing that has been validated to ensure confident detection and analysis for even the lowest of fetal fractions.

Reliable target enrichment for cffDNA and gDNA

We understand that our customers have different questions to answer so Cell3 Target has been developed for and validated on cffDNA and gDNA for a range of prenatal applications. Whether you are using amniocentesis or non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), you know you will be able to use the same method and panel design.

Liquid biopsy sample, DNA from a blood sample
COVID-19 Whole Genome Sequencing Service

Quick and convenient workflow for cfDNA

Cell3 Target offers quick, Covaris-free, enzymatic shearing for genomic DNA samples and is available without enzymatic fragmentation reagents for cfDNA.

  • Quick and easy workflow takes less than 10 hours, with less than 2 hours hands-on time.
  • Supports manual or automated preparation of 1 – 96 samples in a single batch
  • 384 patient/sample indexes ensure that customer can use Cell3™ Target on the smallest to the largest output sequencers.
  • Suitable for use with 10ng cfDNA or genomic DNA

Ultra-sensitive NGS enrichment for NIPD

Cell3™ Target enrichments incorporate error suppression technology including unique molecular indexes (UMIs) and unique dual indexes (UDI’s) which remove of both PCR and sequencing errors and index hopping events. This error suppression technique, combined with our excellent uniformity of coverage, allows you to confidently and accurately call variants in even the lowest of fetal fractions. (and from as little as 10ng cfDNA or gDNA input). We provide advice and provision of ready to go analysis scripts for error removal using UMI’s.

How unique molecular identifiers work
Screenshot of Nonacus Probe design tool homepage

Successful custom panel design for targeted NGS

Good design is key to a successful NGS panel ensuring adequate coverage and robust variant calling.  It’s not always easy to achieve, especially first time, but our Probe Design tool, makes it simple and easy allowing you to optimise panels in minutes. Create designs instantly from scratch using uploaded BED files, gene lists or genomic coordinates, customise catalogue products or add your own content onto one of our fixed panels.

• Easily merge, compare and share panels

• Get coverage data instantly and request a quote

• Receive your fully validated* custom panel within 4 weeks of order.


Log into the Probe Design Tool at My Nonacus  to start on a design and get a quote.

*All panels are NGS validated to ensure uniformity of coverage meets our QC requirements across all targeted regions

Optimised sequencing performance for NIPD

The baits used in Cell3 Target are designed to deliver excellent uniformity of coverage. By improving uniformity of coverage and reducing the number of low coverage exons, our Cell3 Target enrichment optimises sequencing efficiency and sample capacity per sequencing run ultimately reducing your sequencing costs.


Figure 1. Coverage uniformity and % target capture for a 40 Kb panel designed using Cell3 Target technology and Company (A) High Sensitivity enrichment kit. Targeted enrichment performed on genomic DNA samples and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq

Improved on-target for small and large panels

Most capture target enrichment technologies suffer from a significant percentage of off target sequencing reads when targeting small regions of the genome. Cell3 Target has been developed so that whether you wish to sequence 1 or 1,000 genes you will find lower off target and more uniform coverage when compared with alternative capture technologies.


Product Resources

Detailed product information available to download.

Product Support

If you have a query relating to any of our products, please take a look at our FAQs or complete our contact me form and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


  1. Barrett, A, Zimmerman BG, Wang D, Holloway A, Chitty L. Implementing prenatal diagnosis based on cell-free fetal DNA: Accurate identification of factors affecting fetal DNA yield. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25202.
  2. Nigam A, Saxena P, Prakash A, Acharya A.Detection of fetal nucleic acid in maternal plasma: A novel noninvasive prenatal diagnostic technique. J Interntl Med Sci Acad. 2012; 25(3): 119-120.


van Campen, J., Silcock, L., Yau, S., Daniel, Y., Ahn, J.W., Ogilvie, C., Mann, K. and Oteng‐Ntim, E. (2020), A novel non‐invasive prenatal sickle cell disease test for all at‐risk pregnancies Br J Haematol, 190: 119-124. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16529

Learn more about our products for prenatal testing


Fetal RhD Genotyping kit

The first direct from plasma prenatal diagnosis kit for fetal RhD genotyping.

Exome enrichment for cytogenetics


Clinically enhanced exome capture for whole exome sequencing and copy number analysis in a single test.

every sample is precious

Cell3™ Preserver

A whole blood stabilisation tube for the collection of blood in cell free DNA applications.

cell free DNA extraction

Cell3™ Extract

A cell free DNA extraction kit that is a fast, accurate and flexible solution to obtain cfDNA directly from plasma.

Get a tailored quote

We're here to help you innovate and improve your cfDNA capability.
If you have any questions about products or wish to receive a quote, please contact us. Please use the form provided and one of our team will be in touch.