In this report, we review several single-molecule detection (SMD) methods and newly developed nanocrystal-mediated single-fluorophore strategies for ultrasensitive and specific analysis of genomic sequences. These include techniques, such as quantum dot (QD)-mediated fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) technology and dual-color fluorescence coincidence and colocalization analysis, which allow separation-free detection of low-abundance DNA sequences and mutational analysis of oncogenes. Microfluidic approaches developed for use with single-molecule detection to achieve rapid, low-volume, and quantitative analysis of nucleic acids, such as electrokinetic manipulation of single molecules and confinement of sub-nanoliter samples using microfluidic networks integrated with valves, are also discussed.

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