02 October 2020
The CRISPR/Cas system has stood in the center of attention in the last few years as a revolutionary gene editing tool with a wide application to investigate gene functions. However, the labor-intensive workflow requires a sophisticated pre-experimental and post-experimental analysis, thus becoming one of the hindrances for the further popularization of practical applications. Recently, the increasing emergence and advancement of the in silico methods play a formidable role to support and boost experimental work. However, various tools based on distinctive design principles and frameworks harbor unique characteristics that are likely to confuse users about how to choose the most appropriate one for their purpose. In this review, we will present a comprehensive overview and comparisons on the in silico methods from the aspects of CRISPR/Cas system identification, guide RNA design, and post-experimental assistance. Furthermore, we establish the hypotheses in light of the new trends around the technical optimization and hope to provide significant clues for future tools development.