In the intricate realm of healthcare, where answers often hide in the tiniest of details, molecular diagnostics, especially point-of-care diagnostics, have emerged as a key to improving healthcare delivery. In particular, isothermal amplification techniques have gained popularity for their sensitivity and specificity which is on par with PCR.
What is isothermal amplification?
DNA/RNA amplification is a fundamental technique used in molecular diagnostics for its ability to detect and amplify specific DNA sequences. One type of DNA amplification, called isothermal amplification enables rapid and consistent amplification of DNA or RNA under a single temperature condition, eliminating the need for thermal cycling which requires sophisticated equipment. The concept of isothermal amplification started in the early 1990s with the self-sustained sequence replication (3SR)1 technique, and was quickly followed by nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) 3, strand displacement amplification (SDA)3, transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) 4 and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) 5.