PCR Instrumentation

Print

Overview

Scientists now have their choice of a wide variety of thermal cyclers, ranging from 48-well personal cyclers to high-throughput multi-bay instruments. To select the right cycler, we recommend considering several factors such as application, current and future throughput, and software.

Related Topics: PCR Reagents, PCR Assay Design and Optimization, PCR Analysis, and PCR Troubleshooting.

 

Choosing the Right Instrument

The first consideration for choosing the right thermal cycler is often the goal of the PCR reaction and what experiment will be performed downstream.

  • If you often run new PCR assays and need to troubleshoot different annealing temperatures frequently, choose a thermal cycler with a thermal gradient that can be used to optimize the yield and specificity of an assay in a single run.
  • If you are running high-throughput genotyping experiments you may prefer to use a high-performance cyclers with fast ramping speeds to shorten run times
  • If you perform PCR to clone DNA fragments you may prefer to use a thermal cycler that can run large reaction volumes or that is compatible with 0.5 ml tubes

The second consideration is the number of users and the sample throughput.

  • 48-well cyclers are often used as personal systems
  • 96-well cyclers are standard for many laboratories
  • Dual 48/48 well cyclers allow 2 independent protocols to be run simultaneously when there are many people using an instrument
  • Multi-bay cyclers are popular for high-throughput laboratories, although multiple single-bay cyclers are also a good option; some are networkable or have USB ports to transfer protocols between thermal cyclers

A third consideration is flexibility when considering current and future experiments.

  • Thermal cyclers with interchangeable blocks allow various formats such as 96-well, 384-well, dual 48/48-well to be swapped easily without the purchase of an entire new system
  • Some instruments also allow upgradeability to real-time PCR
  • Networkable thermal cyclers allow satellite units to be daisy-chained to a control unit to expand throughput when needed

Lastly, it is wise not to forget the importance of software features and overall ease of use, since these factors can greatly impact the time spent training new users, and getting started with a run regardless of the application or throughput of the laboratory.

Thermal Cycler Selection Chart

Feature
C1000 Touch™

S1000™

T100™
Peltier-effect technology
Upgrade to real-time PCR    
Interchangeable sample blocks  
Number of wells 96, 96 deep, dual 48, or 384 96, 96 deep, dual 48, or 384 96
Gradient capability
Graphical user interface  
Fast PCR protocol templates
Choice of temperature control mode
Power failure restore
Programmable ramp rates
Networking capability  
Reports on cycler use and performance
Adjustable heated lid  
Full-skirted plate compatibility  
Feature
DNA Engine Dyad®

DNA Engine Tetrad® 2
 
Peltier-effect technology  
Upgrade to real-time PCR      
Interchangeable sample blocks  
Number of wells Varies Varies  
Gradient capability Gradient feature is available on 96-well Alpha™ units Gradient feature is available on 96-well Alpha units  
Graphical user interface  
Fast PCR protocol templates  
Choice of temperature control mode  
Power failure restore  
Programmable ramp rates  
Networking capability      
Remote command set for automation  
Reports on cycler use and performance  
Adjustable heated lid  
Full-skirted plate compatibility  
 

Related Content

 
1000-Series System Tour
This animated video gives you a quick overview of the 1000-series Touch thermal cyclers.
 
Literature
Number Description Download
5277 Bio-Rad Thermal Cyclers Brochure, Rev F Click to download
6105 CFX Connect™ Real-Time PCR Detection System Brochure Click to download
6094 1000-Series Thermal Cyclers Brochure, Rev C Click to download
6065 T100™ Thermal Cycler Brochure, Rev C Click to download
 
 
LUSNZ1E8Z [referer] = [http://www.google.com/] [x-forwarded-proto] = [http] [accept-language] = [en-US,en;q=0.9] [scheme] = [http] [x-forwarded-port] = [80] [x-forwarded-for] = [122.8.61.159, 66.249.81.243, 10.232.3.93] [save-data] = [on] [forwarded] = [for=122.8.61.159] [accept] = [text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8] [via] = [1.1 Chrome-Compression-Proxy] [seourl] = [/en-us/applications-technologies/pcr-instrumentation] [x-amzn-trace-id] = [Root=1-5a9215d9-4d5becbe413b34b904b06662] [x-forwarded-server] = [lsds-prod-s.br.aws-livesite.io] [x-forwarded-host] = [www.bio-rad.com] [x-query-string] = [ID=LUSNZ1E8Z] [host] = [10.232.1.21:1776] [upgrade-insecure-requests] = [1] [x-request-uri] = [/en-us/applications-technologies/pcr-instrumentation] [connection] = [Keep-Alive] [accept-encoding] = [gzip,deflate] [user-agent] = [Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.4.4; SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 Build/KTU84P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/64.0.3282.137 Mobile Safari/537.36] AppTech/AppTechDetails pageStyleKey internet/solutions_sub applications-technologies/pcr-instrumentation LUSNZ1E8Z Instrumentation PCR Instrumentation /webroot/web/html/lsr/solutions/technologies/pcr <script type="text/javascript"><!-- $('head').append('<meta name="DCSext.at_banner" content="PCR Instrumentation" /><meta name="DCSext.at_banner_e" content="v" />'); $(document).ready(function () { $("#rightcol").append('<div id="relatedProducts">&nbsp;</div>'); $('#relatedProducts').load('/webroot/web/html/lsr/solutions/technologies/pcr/related-products-a-t-pcr-instrumentation.html'); }); // --></script> <p>Scientists now have their choice of a wide variety of thermal cyclers, ranging from 48-well personal cyclers to high-throughput multi-bay instruments. To select the right cycler, we recommend considering several factors such as application, current and future throughput, and software.</p> <p><strong>Related Topics:</strong> <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO0V4VY">PCR Reagents</a>, <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO1VKG4">PCR Assay Design and Optimization</a>, <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO2PESH">PCR Analysis</a>, and <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO3HC4S">PCR Troubleshooting</a>.</p> Choosing the Right Instrument <p>The first consideration for choosing the right thermal cycler is often the goal of the PCR reaction and what experiment will be performed downstream.</p> <ul> <li>If you often run new PCR assays and need to troubleshoot different annealing temperatures frequently, choose a thermal cycler with a thermal gradient that can be used to <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO1VKG4">optimize</a> the yield and specificity of an assay in a single run.</li> <li>If you are running high-throughput genotyping experiments you may prefer to use a high-performance cyclers with fast ramping speeds to shorten run times</li> <li>If you perform PCR to clone DNA fragments you may prefer to use a thermal cycler that can run large reaction volumes or that is compatible with 0.5 ml tubes</li> </ul> <p>The second consideration is the number of users and the sample throughput.</p> <ul> <li>48-well cyclers are often used as personal systems</li> <li>96-well cyclers are standard for many laboratories</li> <li>Dual 48/48 well cyclers allow 2 independent protocols to be run simultaneously when there are many people using an instrument</li> <li>Multi-bay cyclers are popular for high-throughput laboratories, although multiple single-bay cyclers are also a good option; some are networkable or have USB ports to transfer protocols between thermal cyclers</li> </ul> <p>A third consideration is flexibility when considering current and future experiments.</p> <ul> <li>Thermal cyclers with interchangeable blocks allow various formats such as 96-well, 384-well, dual 48/48-well to be swapped easily without the purchase of an entire new system</li> <li>Some instruments also allow upgradeability to <a href="/evportal/destination/solutions?catID=LUSO4W8UU">real-time PCR</a></li> <li>Networkable thermal cyclers allow satellite units to be daisy-chained to a control unit to expand throughput when needed</li> </ul> <p>Lastly, it is wise not to forget the importance of software features and overall ease of use, since these factors can greatly impact the time spent training new users, and getting started with a run regardless of the application or throughput of the laboratory.</p> <p><strong> Thermal Cycler Selection Chart</strong></p> <table class="pd_table pd_gridlines" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="pd_tableheader" style="vertical-align: bottom;" width="237">Feature</td> <td width="125" align="center" valign="bottom"><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=LGTW9415"><img src="/webroot/web/images/lsr/solutions/technologies/gene_expression/pcr/technology_detail/gxt11_data_img1.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br /> C1000 Touch&trade;</a></td> <td width="111" align="center" valign="bottom"><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=ab2cabb3-9299-489f-93fe-754e14301ac6"> <img src="/webroot/web/images/lsr/solutions/technologies/gene_expression/pcr/technology_detail/gxt11_data_img2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br /> S1000&trade;</a></td> <td width="85" align="center" valign="bottom"><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=LGTWGIE8Z"> <img src="/webroot/web/images/lsr/solutions/technologies/gene_expression/pcr/technology_detail/gxt11_data_img3.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br /> T100&trade;</a></td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Peltier-effect technology</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Upgrade to real-time PCR</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Interchangeable sample blocks</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Number of wells</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">96, 96 deep, dual 48, or 384</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">96, 96 deep, dual 48, or 384</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">96</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Gradient capability</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Graphical user interface</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Fast PCR protocol templates</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Choice of temperature control mode</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Power failure restore</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Programmable ramp rates</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Networking capability</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Reports on cycler use and performance</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Adjustable heated lid</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Full-skirted plate compatibility</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="pd_tableheader" style="vertical-align: bottom;">Feature</td> <td style="vertical-align: bottom;" align="center" valign="bottom"><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=fdee0682-886d-4834-b249-8acdc2292acb"> <img src="http://www.bio-rad.com/webroot/web/images/lsr/products/amplification_pcr/category_overlay_content/global/dyad_cht.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br /> DNA Engine Dyad<sup>&reg;</sup></a></td> <td style="vertical-align: bottom;" align="center" valign="bottom"><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=fdee0682-886d-4834-b249-8acdc2292acb"> <img src="http://www.bio-rad.com/webroot/web/images/lsr/products/amplification_pcr/category_overlay_content/global/cht_tetrad.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br /> DNA Engine Tetrad<sup>&reg;</sup> 2</a></td> <td style="vertical-align: bottom;" align="center">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Peltier-effect technology</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Upgrade to real-time PCR</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Interchangeable sample blocks</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Number of wells</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">Varies</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">Varies</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Gradient capability</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">Gradient feature is available on 96-well Alpha&trade; units</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">Gradient feature is available on 96-well Alpha units</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Graphical user interface</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Fast PCR protocol templates</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Choice of temperature control mode</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Power failure restore</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Programmable ramp rates</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Networking capability</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Remote command set for automation</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Reports on cycler use and performance</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Adjustable heated lid</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class="pd_colorbackground"> <td>Full-skirted plate compatibility</td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell"><span class="orangebullet">&bull;</span></td> <td class="pd_centeredcell">&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div class="top"><a href="#helptop">Back to Top</a></div> Support Materials <div class="custom_content">&nbsp; <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bio-rad.com/evportal/destination/commerce/product_detail?catID=fb6f1fd4-fd6d-4715-87c7-ec8d429fcf41" target="_blank">Firmware Updates</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="videowrap"> <div class="videoImg"><a title="1000-Series System Tour" onclick="javascript:openElementOverlay('1000Series');" href="javascript:void(0);"><img style="width: 88px; height: 51px; border: 0px none;" src="/webroot/web/images/lsr/products/amplification_pcr/category_overlay_icons/global/amp_touchseries_demo.jpg" alt="" /></a></div> <div class="videoDesc"><a title="1000-Series System Tour" onclick="javascript:openElementOverlay('1000Series');" href="javascript:void(0);">1000-Series System Tour</a> <br />This animated video gives you a quick overview of the 1000-series Touch thermal cyclers.</div> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div id="1000Series" style="display: none;"> <div class="overlay_contents"> <div class="overlay-head">1000-Series Touch Thermal Cyclers</div> <div style="text-align:center;"><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JJi2byvRA7w?version=3&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;theme=light&amp;modestbranding=1&amp;fs=1;wmode=transparent" width="620" height="376"></iframe></div> </div> </div> 5277 6105 /templatedata/internet/documentation/data/LSR/Literature/6105.xml 6094 6065 Life Science Research/Products/Amplification - PCR/Thermal Cyclers/C1000 Touch Thermal Cycler ->MTS::LGTW9415##Life Science Research/Products/Amplification - PCR/Thermal Cyclers/S1000 Thermal Cycler ->MT::ab2cabb3-9299-489f-93fe-754e14301ac6##Life Science Research/Products/Amplification - PCR/Thermal Cyclers/T100 Thermal Cycler ->MTS::LGTWGIE8Z##Life Science Education/Products/Equipment and Supplies/PCR Instrumentation/MJ Mini Thermal Cycler ->MT::16cd26ac-8bc7-4a25-adde-54c3c155976f##Life Science Research/Products/Amplification - PCR/Firmware &amp; Software Updates ->MT::fb6f1fd4-fd6d-4715-87c7-ec8d429fcf41## Life Science Research/Solutions/Technologies/qPCR|Real-Time PCR ->MTS::LUSO4W8UU##Life Science Research/Solutions/Technologies/Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis ->MTS::LUSORPDFX##Life Science Research/Solutions/Technologies/qPCR|Real-Time PCR/Troubleshooting ->MTS::LUSOBDHYP## Eddie C PCR Instrumentation Learn about different types of PCR instruments and to choose the right thermal cycler for your applications. pcr, thermal cyclers, thermocyclers, pcr instruments, pcr machines, pcr systems 12/22/11 10:51 AM 12/22/21 10:54 AM AE,AI,AL,AM,AR,AT,AU,AZ,BA,BD,BE,BF,BG,BH,BN,BO,BR,BW,CA,CH,CL,CM,CN,CO,CR,CY,CZ,DE,DK,DO,DZ,EC,EE,EG,EH,ER,ES,ET,FI,FM,FO,FR,GA,GE,GF,GH,GP,GR,GT,GU,HK,HN,HR,HT,HU,ID,IE,IL,IN,IS,IT,JM,JO,JP,KE,KH,KR,KW,KZ,LB,LI,LK,LT,LU,LV,MA,MD,MG,MK,ML,MO,MQ,MS,MT,MU,MX,MY,NG,NI,NL,NO,NP,NZ,OM,PA,PE,PF,PG,PH,PK,PL,PR,PS,PT,PW,PY,QA,RO,RS,RU,SA,SB,SE,SG,SI,SK,SN,ST,SV,TG,TH,TN,TO,TR,TT,TW,TZ,UA,UG,UK,US,UY,UZ,VA,VE,VU,XK,YE,ZA en LSR /LSR/Technologies/PCR N 0
Sign Up for Bio-Rad Updates!
Enter your email address below to receive your choice of the latest news, promotions, and more.