Helicase-dependent amplification: use in OnChip amplification and potential for point-of-care diagnostics

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Isothermal amplification technologies are emerging on the horizon that could have the potential to pose as alternatives to PCR in terms of sensitivity and ease of use. One of the most recent isothermal technologies is helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). This technology uses the helicase's capability to disrupt the hydrogen bonds of a Watson–Crick base pair in order to separate dsDNA. A denaturation step, as is used in PCR, is no longer required. This gives rise to new, less expensive and less complicated designs for point-of-care devices and ‘Lab on Chip’ systems. Helicase-dependent OnChip-amplification (OnChip-HDA) is a further step into this direction as it integrates the HDA technology with microarray technology and its power of multiplexing. This special report will give an overview on the HDA and OnChip-HDA technology, and its potential for point-of-care diagnostics.

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