CRISPR-Based Diagnostics: Challenges and Potential Solutions toward Point-of-Care Applications

Ahmed Ghouneimy, Ahmed Mahas, Tin Marsic, Rashid Aman, Magdy Mahfouz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the conventional diagnostic field and revealed the need for decentralized Point of Care (POC) solutions. Although nucleic acid testing is considered to be the most sensitive and specific disease detection method, conventional testing platforms are expensive, confined to central laboratories, and are not deployable in low-resource settings. CRISPR-based diagnostics have emerged as promising tools capable of revolutionizing the field of molecular diagnostics. These platforms are inexpensive, simple, and do not require the use of special instrumentation, suggesting they could democratize access to disease diagnostics. However, there are several obstacles to the use of the current platforms for POC applications, including difficulties in sample processing and stability. In this review, we discuss key advancements in the field, with an emphasis on the challenges of sample processing, stability, multiplexing, amplification-free detection, signal interpretation, and process automation. We also discuss potential solutions for revolutionizing CRISPR-based diagnostics toward sample-to-answer diagnostic solutions for POC and home use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2023


  • biosensors
  • COVID-19
  • CRISPR-Cas systems
  • molecular diagnostics
  • nucleic acid detection
  • POC diagnostics
  • SARS-CoV2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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