Several molecular technologies are designed to avoid target amplification so to minimize the possibility of contamination by target amplification products. One of the alternatives to enzymatic amplification of target nucleic acid such as poly-merase chain reaction (PCR) is to increase or amplify the signal generated from the probe molecule hybridized to the target nucleic acid sequence, which is referred to as signal amplification. Commonly used signal amplification technologies include branched DNA (bDNA) and hybrid capture (HC) assays. The bDNA method was initially developed by Chiron (Emeryville, CA, USA) and marketed by Bayer Diagnostics (Emeryville, CA, USA), and the hybrid capture method was developed and marketed by Digene Corporation (Gaithersburg, MD, USA).

Signal amplification methods including both bDNA and HC DNA technologies do not rely on enzymes for the amplification and also meet the challenges for better molecular assay other than by target amplification: specific detection, dynamic range, ease-of-use, standardization, and reproducibility. Both methods for certain assays have been used in clinical laboratories.

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