Future Perspectives on Nucleic Acid Testing
This chapter reviews key issues in nucleic acid testing, surveys selected advances and new directions in nucleic acid assay technology since 2000 and explores some of the continuing challenges to the implementation of nucleic acid tests. A single nucleic acid molecule and hybridization events on that molecule can be directly monitored by microscopy. Nucleic acid testing is a relatively young discipline and quality assurance and quality control are in active phases of development. The mainstay of a nucleic acid assay has been complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid as a binding agent. An alkaline phosphatase enzyme label was immobilized on a carbon nanotube (CNT) attached to a DNA probe to achieve a loading of approximately 9600 enzyme molecules per CNT. This was then used in a sandwich assay in combination with a capture probe immobilized on a magnetic bead.