biopsied cells are analyzed using a technique called the
polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR is an in vitro
simplified reproduction of the in vivo process of DNA
replication. Taking advantage from the chemical properties
of DNA and the availability of thermostable DNA polymerases,
PCR allows for the enrichment of a DNA sample for a certain
PCR provides the possibility to obtain a large quantity of
copies of a particular stretch of the genome, making further
analysis possible. It is a highly sensitive and specific
technology, which makes it suitable for all kinds of genetic
diagnosis, including PGD.
Each cell contains a minute amount of DNA (a single copy).
PCR is used to amplify the DNA to a detectable level. Once
amplification has been accomplished scientists can use a
variety of techniques to screen an individual gene for
abnormalities. This procedure is known as Mutation Analysis.