Point-of-care CRISPR/Cas nucleic acid detection: Recent advances, challenges and opportunities

Biosens Bioelectron. 2020 Oct 15:166:112445. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2020.112445. Epub 2020 Jul 26.


With the trend of moving molecular tests from clinical laboratories to on-site testing, there is a need for nucleic acid based diagnostic tools combining the sensitivity, specificity and flexibility of established diagnostics with the ease, cost effectiveness and speed of isothermal amplification and detection methods. A promising new nucleic acid detection method is Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-associated nuclease (Cas)-based sensing. In this method Cas effector proteins are used as highly specific sequence recognition elements that can be combined with many different read-out methods for on-site point-of-care testing. This review covers the technical aspects of integrating CRISPR/Cas technology in miniaturized sensors for analysis on-site. We start with a short introduction to CRISPR/Cas systems and the different effector proteins and continue with reviewing the recent developments of integrating CRISPR sensing in miniaturized sensors for point-of-care applications. Finally, we discuss the challenges of point-of-care CRISPR sensing and describe future research perspectives.

Keywords: CRISPR sensing; CRISPR/Cas; DNA sensing; Diagnosis; Genomic diagnostic tools; Point-of-care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats / genetics
  • Nucleic Acids* / genetics
  • Point-of-Care Systems


  • Nucleic Acids