Bio-Rad’s QX100™ Droplet Digital™ PCR System Wins 2012 R&D 100 Award


R&D 100 Award - 50th Anniversary

Hercules, CA — June 20, 2012 —Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. announced today that the QX100 Droplet Digital PCR system won R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Award. These awards recognize the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year as selected by R&D Magazine’s editors and an independent judging panel.

“The QX100 Droplet Digital PCR system provides single copy PCR resolution to accelerate discoveries and new strategies for the research of inherited disorders, cancer, and infectious disease,” said Richard Kurtz, Bio-Rad Division Marketing Manager, Gene Expression Division. “Winning an R&D 100 Award and Laboratory Equipment’s Reader’s Choice Award earlier this year provides further proof that droplet digital PCR technology is one of the most innovative ideas of the year.”

The R&D 100 Awards have been a benchmark of excellence for industry sectors as diverse as biotechnology, telecommunications, high-energy physics, software, and manufacturing. Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have identified revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market, including the lab on a chip in 1996.

Droplet Digital PCR Provides Absolute Measure of Target Molecules
Digital PCR, and more specifically droplet digital PCR (ddPCR™), is a refinement of real-time PCR that enables researchers to directly quantify and amplify nucleic acids, including DNA and RNA. While both digital and traditional real-time PCR methods carry out one amplification reaction per single sample, with ddPCR the sample is separated into a large number of partitions and the amplification is carried out in each partition individually. By partitioning the sample and eliminating background interference, the researcher is able to collect a more reliable and sensitive measurement of low concentrations of nucleic acid that may not have been detectable using real-time PCR (see table below).

Droplet digital PCR compared to real-time PCR
REAL-TIME PCR Discriminates 2-fold differences in target DNA concentration Limited sensitivity due to background interference Requires standard curves or reference genes to estimate concentration of unknown
DIGITAL PCR Discriminates ± 10% differences in target DNA concentration 100x greater sensitivity by massively partitioning away the background Absolute


The QX100 ddPCR system is the only digital PCR system that generates uniform droplets to partition the target sample; other digital PCR systems use microfluidic chips, which are challenging to scale up to achieve high throughput. Partitioning the sample into 20,000 droplets increases the dynamic range and precision of the PCR, enabling resolution of small concentration differences between nucleic acid sequences in a sample. Applications include the ability to completely resolve copy number states, detect rare mutations (0.01% mutant fraction), and analyze small (less than twofold) changes in gene expression.

R&D Magazine and its online portal serve research scientists, engineers, and other technical staff members at high-tech industrial companies and public and private laboratories around the world.

Visit to learn more about the QX100 Droplet Digital PCR system. You can find more about the R&D 100 Awards at

About Bio-Rad
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The Company is renowned worldwide among hospitals, universities, major research institutions, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for its commitment to quality and customer service. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 100,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs over 7,100 people globally and had revenues exceeding $2 billion in 2011. For more information, visit

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For more information contact: 
Richard Kurtz

Ken Li
Chempetitive Group
312-997-2436 x 112