6 September 2019

5 ways SNIPER can enhance your CRISPR gene editing

Most biologists are familiar with the precision gene editing system CRISPR. But what about SNIPER? SNIPER is a digital PCR (dPCR) and culture-based screening technology that has the power to enhance CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing – enabling multiplex gene modification, biallelic gene insertions and increased screening efficiency. Read on to find out more about how SNIPER can enhance your precision gene editing protocols and save you time, money and effort.

1. Insert large genes

Using the dPCR-based SNIPER screen, it is easier to detect large gene fragments edited by CRISPR technology, such as selection or reporter genes. Using conventional screening methods, the detection rate declines when insert sequence size exceeds 2 kbp. However, SNIPER can detect genes up to 7 kbp in size.

The improved sensitivity and specificity of this advanced screening technique can achieve up to 30 times* the detection rate compared with conventional screening methods.


2. Create your desired genotype

If the phenotype of your chosen research condition varies depending on whether a mutant is heterozygous or homozygous, achieving biallelic modifications using the CRISPR-Cas9 system can be difficult. By combining CRISPR technology with SNIPER, both DNA strands can be modified easily to obtain your desired genotype – enabling the creation of both homozygous and heterozygous mutants.

An illustration of homozgous and heterozygous chromosomes

3. Increase Screening Specificity

SNIPER increases the specificity of CRISPR-Cas9 by allowing the evaluation of gene editing efficacy under multiple culture conditions. Specificity can be increased further by the addition of nickase, allowing sequences with similarity to your gene of interest to be excluded during the screening process, leaving only the mutants you desire.

Meet the Creator of SNIPER

4. Track iPSC development 

If you are a researcher in developmental biology, you may want to track the differentiation of your iPSCs. Yet reporter genes, such as fluorescence or resistance genes, are often large and therefore difficult to insert. With the enhanced KI rate available with SNIPER, it is possible to insert these functional gene segments more easily – enabling you to track changes in gene expression during differentiation.

Flow chart showing how you can use fluorescence genes to track iPSC development.

 5. Multiplex Gene Editing

If establishment of your disease model involves multiple modifications, you may need to perform several sequential gene editing experiments. As SNIPER allows rapid optimization of gene editing conditions, this advanced screening technique makes it possible to modify multiple genes simultaneously.

This is achieved by optimizing the culture conditions for a multiplex panel of gRNAs targeted towards your chosen genes, and then using this cocktail to edit your cells in a single experiment.  By editing multiple genes at once, you can reduce the negative effects that accompany extended passaging and culture your iPSCs for longer.


Multiplex gene editing with SNIPER means you can edit up to five genes simultaneously.


Experts in Gene Editing

Did we provide a solution to your gene editing needs today? If not, let us know in the comments. If you are interested in finding out more about REPROCELL’s custom gene editing service, please visit our website, or contact one of our scientists today.

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SNIPER is the acronym for Specification of Newly Integrated Position and Exclusion of Random-Integration

*For SNP modification, SNIPER screening detects positive clones at a 30X higher frequency (30%) compared with conventional screening (1%)

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