RNA and DNA diagnostics on microspheres: current and emerging methods

Anna Weis, Fang Liang, Jing Gao, Ross T. Barnard, Simon Corrie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging infections and rapidly evolving pathogens are a challenge to conventional nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests. Current nucleic acid-based diagnosis is limited in the spectrum of analytes that can be simultaneously detected. This can potentially be addressed by single-tube multiplexing or multiple-well multiplexing (where multiplexing is defined as using a mixture of reagents, capable of detecting multiple diagnostic targets in a single tube or in highly parallel arrays). The number of organisms that can be targeted in a single tube by the current gold standard in clinical laboratories [quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)] is limited by the number of resolvable fluorophores. The demand for multiplex technologies has led to the development of various high-throughput assays and broad-spectrum formats. In this article, current microsphere-mediated formats, their clinical applications and established microsphere-based diagnostics are reviewed. We then discuss some novel microsphere-integrated techniques and their future prospects in clinical diagnostics. We differentiate between innovations in the molecular reactions with microspheres and novel microsphere encoding strategies to increase multiplexing capacities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRNA and DNA Diagnostics
EditorsVolker A. Erdmann, Stefan Jurga, Jan Barciszewski
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783319173054
ISBN (Print)9783319173047
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRNA Technologies
ISSN (Print)2197-9731
ISSN (Electronic)2197-9758


  • Microsphere
  • PCR
  • Multiplex
  • Diagnostic
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Flow cytometry

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