Standard Article

DNA Molecules, Properties and Detection of Single

Nucleic Acids Structure and Mapping

  1. Zhifeng Long

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1407

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Long, Z. 2006. DNA Molecules, Properties and Detection of Single. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Genetic Therapy, Inc., A Norvartis Company, Gaithersburg, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Technological advances have created more DNA detection systems with more power than ever before. By amplifying the target or its molecular counterpart, the probe, very minute amounts of DNA can be detected or even sequenced. Different technologies give rise to different DNA detection systems. Each system has its merits and limitation. In many applications, detection sensitivity is the parameter of interest. This article first gives an outline of different DNA detection systems and their sensitivities and limits. It then describes how to achieve and prove one-copy sensitivity. Finally, it discusses the testing strategy, supported by statistics to increase detection confidence. Although the limit of detection (LOD) can be improved with better technology and instrument, the highest sensitivity is set by probability laws. To detect one-copy of a DNA molecule, one needs to understand the properties of single.