HCR Multiplexing
HCR enables straightforward multiplexing using 1-step quantitative signal amplification for all targets simultaneously.

Automatic Background Suppression

Because HCR hairpins are kinetically trapped, they will not generate amplified background even if they bind non-specifically in the sample, providing automatic background suppression to dramatically enhance performance and ease-of-use.

Deep Sample Penetration

HCR amplification hairpins are short predominantly double-stranded oligos that penetrate thick samples to execute an enzyme-free amplification cascade at the site of the target.


Orthogonal HCR Amplifiers
The gel above demonstrates multiplexed signal amplification by 4 orthogonal HCR amplifiers (B1, B2, B3, B4). In the absence of initiators, there is negligible leakage out of the metastable hairpin state. Introduction of any single initiator (B1i1, B2i1, B3i1, B4i1) into the amplifier mixture triggers the corresponding amplifier.


HCR Quantitation
The HCR mechanism is simple, robust, and enzyme-free, providing quantitative, high-gain, 1-step signal amplification for diverse analysis modes: 

Hybridization Chain Reaction (HCR)

HCR amplifiers enable multiplexed, quantitative, 1-step, isothermal, high-gain, enzyme-free signal amplification in diverse technological settings.

HCR: How It Works

HCR Mechanism

HCR introduced the concept of conditional nucleic acid self-assembly, demonstrating that nucleic acid molecules can be engineered so as not to interact when mixed, instead self-assembling only upon exposure to a cognate initiator sequence. An HCR amplifier consists of two kinetically trapped hairpins, h1 and h2, that co-exist metastably on lab time scales. Hairpins h1 and h2 store the energy to drive a conditional self-assembly cascade upon exposure to HCR initiator i1. ​Initiator i1 triggers a chain reaction of alternating h1 and h2 polymerization steps leading to growth of a fluorescent HCR amplification polymer.


A new era for in situ hybridization: 

multiplexed, quantitative, high-resolution, sensitive, versatile, robust


Experience multiplexed, quantitative, high-resolution immunhistochemistry: amplified, enzyme-free, FFPE, simple


Quantitative 1-step enzyme-free HCR signal amplification for all protein and RNA targets simultaneously

HCR Amplifiers