CRISPR-Cas enzymes: The toolkit revolutionizing diagnostics

Biotechnol J. 2022 Jul;17(7):e2100304. doi: 10.1002/biot.202100304. Epub 2021 Sep 23.


The programmable nature of sequence-specific targeting by CRISPR-Cas nucleases has revolutionized a wide range of genomic applications and is now emerging as a method for nucleic acid detection. We explore how the diversity of CRISPR systems and their fundamental mechanisms have given rise to a wave of new methods for target recognition and readout. These cross-disciplinary advances found at the intersection of CRISPR biology and engineering have led to the ability to rapidly generate solutions for emerging global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. We further discuss the advances and potential for CRISPR-based detection to have an impact across a continuum of diagnostic applications.

Keywords: CRISPR diagnostics; CRISPR-Cas proteins; biochemistry; bioengineering; nucleic acid detection.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems* / genetics
  • Endonucleases / metabolism
  • Gene Editing / methods
  • Humans
  • Pandemics


  • Endonucleases