Better diagnostic testing should be elementary.



Powerful platforms for disease detection.

Too often, today’s conventional testing methods are either limited or too expensive. At Sherlock, we are taking breakthrough technologies and making them easy to use in health care, in industrial settings, and in the home. Sherlock’s Engineering Biology platforms, SHERLOCK™ and INSPECTR™, offer the power of information when it’s needed, in virtually any setting. By providing multi-platform solutions, Sherlock possesses the tools and vision to address existing and emerging testing markets – a molecular diagnostic answer for any sample, any target, anywhere.

What if  tools could be used not just to treat disease, but to detect it, too?

Engineering Biology

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.

What is INSPECTR™?

INSPECTR leverages the power of synthetic biology by using freeze-dried synthetic gene networks as programmable molecular diagnostic devices. The INSPECTR platform enables the creation of instrument-free, simple-to-operate diagnostic tests that can be applied across multiple diseases and used in a variety of settings. INSPECTR stands for Internal Splint-Pairing Expression Cassette Translation Reaction.

A synthetic biology-based molecular diagnostics platform, INSPECTR was developed by our founders and is licensed exclusively from the Wyss Institute of Harvard University. INSPECTR can be programmed to distinguish targets based on a single nucleotide without an instrument and at room temperature. When INSPECTR’s synthetic biosensors detect the presence of a nucleic acid target, a reporter protein is produced. This protein output can be designed to generate a signal tailored to any medium, providing a simple diagnostic readout. This novel approach enables the rapid development of molecular diagnostic tests that are low cost, easy-to-use and broadly applicable.

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

Sherlock’s diagnostics have the potential to make gold standard testing easier in a range of settings, whether in the field during a disease outbreak, in a laboratory, or even in users’ homes. We are working hard so that SHERLOCK and INSPECTR can be used everywhere testing is needed.

Meet our team

If you would like to discuss how our platform can be put to use in new ways, send us an email at partners@sherlock.bio.

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