The thermal cycler (also known as a thermocycler, PCR machine or DNA amplifier) is an instrument used to amplify segments of DNA and RNA via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The thermocycler precisely and rapidly raises and lowers the temperature of the samples in a holding block in discrete, pre-programmed steps, allowing for denaturation and reannealing of samples with various reagents. Amplified genetic material can be used in many downstream applications such as cloning, sequencing, expression analysis, and genotyping. Thermal cyclers may also be used in laboratories to facilitate other temperature-sensitive reactions, including restriction enzyme digestion or rapid diagnostics.

For some applications, qualitative nucleic acid detection is sufficient. Other applications, however, demand a quantitative analysis. Real-time PCR can be used for both qualitative and quantitative analysis; choosing the best method for your application requires a broad knowledge of this technology.

In traditional PCR, results are collected after the reaction is complete, making it impossible to determine the starting concentration of nucleic acid. However, real-time PCR — also called quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) — measures PCR amplification as it occurs. This completely revolutionizes the way one approaches PCR-based quantitation of DNA and RNA. Real-Time PCR is one of the most powerful and sensitive gene analysis techniques available and is used for a broad range of applications including quantitative gene expression analysis, genotyping, SNP analysis, pathogen detection, drug target validation, and for measuring RNA interference. Frequently, real-time polymerase chain reaction is combined with reverse transcription to quantify messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) in cells or tissues.

Digital PCR is a new approach to nucleic acid detection and quantification, which is a different method of absolute quantification and rare allele detection relative to conventional qPCR, because it directly counts the number of target molecules rather than relying on reference standards or endogenous controls.

Rotalab offers high quality thermal cyclers with reliability, precision and user-friendly interface.