Critical review on where CRISPR meets molecular diagnostics

Anson Lau, Carolyn Ren, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Simple yet powerful clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology has led to the advent of numerous developments in life sciences, biotechnology, therapeutics, and molecular diagnostics, enabled by gene editing capability. By exploiting the CRISPR-Cas system’s nucleic acid sequence detection abilities, CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics have been developed. Here, we review the development of rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics. We introduce the transition of CRISPR technology to precision molecular diagnostic devices from tube to device. Next, we discuss the various nucleic acid (NA) detection methods by CRISPR. We address the importance of significant sample preparation steps for a future sample-to-answer solution, which is lacking in current CRISPR-based molecular diagnostic technology. Lastly, we discuss the extension of CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics to various critical applications. We envision CRISPR technology holds great promise for widespread use in precision NA detection applications after particular technical challenges are overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012001
JournalProgress in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd


  • Gene editing
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Nucleic acid detection
  • Personalized medicine
  • Point-of-care
  • Precision medicine


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