Harnessing the power of CRISPR to bring the next generation of diagnostics to the people who need them most


Powerful platforms for disease detection.

SHERLOCK™ utilizes CRISPR as a method for “smart amplicon detection” and can be adapted for use in a single cartridge as part of a simple point-of-care system or deployed to multiplex over 100 targets, allowing laboratory technicians to improve time to result by testing multiple patient samples at once. The adaptability of SHERLOCK, coupled with its ability to precisely identify nucleic acid sequences, makes it a critical addition to the arsenal of diagnostics, enabling physicians to make on-the-spot healthcare decisions for patients in a single visit.

Engineering Biology SHERLOCK for SARS-CoV-2

Listen to our CTO William Blake discuss SHERLOCK


What is SHERLOCK™?

SHERLOCK is an evolution of CRISPR technology, which others use to make precise edits in genetic code. SHERLOCK can detect the unique genetic fingerprints of virtually any DNA or RNA sequence in any organism or pathogen. Developed by our founders and licensed exclusively from the Broad Institute, SHERLOCK is a method for single molecule detection of nucleic acid targets and stands for Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing. It works by amplifying genetic sequences and programming a CRISPR molecule to detect the presence of a specific genetic signature in a sample, which can also be quantified. When it finds those signatures, the CRISPR enzyme is activated and releases a robust signal. This signal can be adapted to work on a simple paper strip test, in laboratory equipment, or to provide an electrochemical readout that can be read with a mobile phone.

Performance and Attributes

Sherlock’s unique Engineering Biology platform advantages span virtually every important category of performance:

  • Highly sensitive (can detect a single molecule in a sample)
  • Highly specific (accurately detects the target)
  • Integrates well with other tests and lab setups
  • Quantitative (measures amount of target present)
  • Rapid design and delivery to partners

In addition, Sherlock’s technologies have advantages that can create value for existing and new applications. Sherlock’s platforms also deliver the following important attributes:

  • Portable (can be used in many different settings)
  • Native specimen testing (direct analysis of unprocessed samples)
  • Rapid (results in under one hour)
  • Low cost