Our Mission

Pioneering nanotechnologies to measure, image, and quantify the building blocks of life, advancing science and medicine by providing researchers and practitioners with new windows onto the biological circuitry that underlies development, maintenance, repair, and disease. 

Our Products and Services

Molecular Instruments™ (MI) designs and synthesizes kits for multiplexed quantitative bioimaging in academic research, drug development, and clinical pathology and diagnostics. MI offers custom assay design and development services for life sciences and pharmaceutical laboratories and companies, as well as nucleic acid sequence design and analysis services for agricultural and veterinary enterprises. 

Our hybridization chain reaction (HCR) technology introduced the concept of conditional nucleic acid self-assembly and enables multiplexed, quantitative, isothermal, enzyme-free signal amplification in diverse technological settings. Learn more

HCR v3.0 probe sets, amplifiers, and buffers enable multiplexed quantitative RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH), RNA flow cytometry, and northern blotting with automatic background suppression throughout the protocol. Learn more

Automatic background suppression ensures that HCR reagents will not generate amplified background even if they bind non-specifically within the sample, dramatically enhancing performance and ease-of-use. Learn more

Protocols are simple, robust, and enzyme-free, requiring only 2 stages independent of the number of target RNAs. Learn more


HCR v3.0 represents a new era for in situ hybridization, offering a unique combination of multiplexing, quantitation, sensitivity, resolution, penetration, versatility, and robustness for imaging any mRNA in any organism and diverse sample types (including whole-mount vertebrate embryos, thick brain slices, FFPE tissue sections, model organisms, non-model organisms, mammalian cells, bacterial cells, and multi-species environmental samples). Learn more

Leadership Team

Dr. Harry M.T. Choi, Founder & CEO, Molecular Instruments, Inc.

Dr. Harry M.T. Choi

Founder & CEO

As the lead researcher for three generations of HCR technology development (v1.0 in 2010, v2.0 in 2014, v3.0 in 2018), Dr. Choi exploited new concepts from dynamic nucleic acid nanotechnology to overcome multi-decade challenges to multiplexed quantitative bioimaging in thick autofluorescent samples. He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in 2003 with a BS in Bioengineering, and then completed a PhD in Bioengineering in 2009 working in the Pierce Lab at Caltech. Dr. Choi served as Director of the HCR technology resource within the Beckman Institute at Caltech from 2010–2018, supporting hundreds of research labs around the world. He left Caltech in 2018 to found Molecular Instruments™. 

Prof. Niles A. Pierce, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Molecular Instruments, Inc.

Prof. Niles A. Pierce

Founder & Chairman of the Board

Pierce is Professor of Applied & Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, where his research group has developed mechanisms, principles, and algorithms that enable the rational design and construction of dynamic nucleic acid devices that function in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. He is a co-founder of the field of dynamic nucleic acid nanotechnology. Pierce graduated as valedictorian from Princeton University in 1993 with a BSE in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and then completed a DPhil in Applied Mathematics in 1997 as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. Arriving at Caltech as a Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Computational Molecular Biology in 1998, Pierce joined the Caltech faculty in 2000, and served as Executive Officer of the Department of Bioengineering during the formative years from 2007–2013. Pierce has received the Fox Prize in Numerical Analysis, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Christensen Fellow at the University of Oxford, and the 74th Eastman Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford.