LAMP (which is an acronym for Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) is a single tube technique for the amplification of DNA. It provides a low-cost alternative to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to detect certain disease. It involves the design of assay primers and the use of a strand-displacing polymerase to allow rapid amplification at a constant temperature without the need for thermal cycling (required for PCR).
Due to the large number of binding sites on target DNA/RNA, the LAMP method is inherently highly specific. The isothermal nature of the reaction means that no thermal cycling is required, facilitating the use of a small, portable, analyzer. LAMP reactions very rapidly generate large quantities of amplified material when pathogenic bacteria/viruses are present in the patient sample; typically time to positive result is 15-25 mins from the start of the reaction, a detection speed which outstrips standard automated PCR.