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Published October 26, 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

Triggered amplification by hybridization chain reaction


We introduce the concept of hybridization chain reaction (HCR), in which stable DNA monomers assemble only upon exposure to a target DNA fragment. In the simplest version of this process, two stable species of DNA hairpins coexist in solution until the introduction of initiator strands triggers a cascade of hybridization events that yields nicked double helices analogous to alternating copolymers. The average molecular weight of the HCR products varies inversely with initiator concentration. Amplification of more diverse recognition events can be achieved by coupling HCR to aptamer triggers. This functionality allows DNA to act as an amplifying transducer for biosensing applications.

Additional Information

© 2004 The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. From the cover. Communicated by Stephen L. Mayo, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, September 24, 2004 (received for review July 2, 2004). Published online before print October 18, 2004, 10.1073/pnas.0407024101 This work was supported by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Charles Lee Powell Foundation.

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