Real-time PCR, or qPCR, is a necessary process that is a step-up from conventional PCR. In qPCR, data is collected throughout the process, merging the amplification and detection steps into a single action through fluorescent chemicals. qPCR is divided into dye-based and probe-based qPCR; probe-based real-time PCR is often the chosen form for heightened specificity.Because the process allows PCR data to be collected in real-time, many labs employ qPCR for various diagnostic assays and microbiological assessments. Real-time PCR
can be fully-automated to increase output and free up resources in a lab that heavily depends on qPCR for their needs.
Uses of Real-Time Automated PCR
Real-time automated PCR can be used for the following applications and more:
- Gene expression analysis
- Genetic variation analysis
- Gene mutation analysis
- Detection of microbes
- Detection of fusion transcripts
- miRNA and non-coding RNA analysis
Benefits Of Fully-automated Real-time PCR in the Lab
There are three main benefits of employing fully-automated real-time PCR in your lab versus the conventional process of using staff instead of PCR robots:
- Reduced errors – Completely automating the qPCR process will reduce the number of errors in the lab during the process, as PCR robots are less likely to make positioning/dispensing mistakes during the process than their human counterparts.
- Increased output – Unless your lab staff are part machine themselves, they will not be as fast as a PCR robot when measuring reagent, pipetting, or moving test tubes/microplates within a life science process. By investing in a fully-automated real-time PCR system, the lab’s productivity will reach new levels.
- Reduced required resources – With the real-time PCR process automated, the lab will use a lower volume of reagents (due to reduced errors) and require less staff to keep an eye on the process continually.
- Reduce Costs – Constantly keep an eye on the process. In the long term, this will lead to cost reduction.
Components of a Highly-Functional, Fully-Automated Real-Time PCR
Ready to make your lab a high-output PCR facility? Here are some key things to look out for when you start procuring the best components for your automated qPCR system:
- Start with an automated DNA extraction machine – Procuring an automated DNA extraction machine for the first step of the PCR process can increase sample purity, which reduces the chance of false positives and negatives.
- Follow through with a good dispensing system – Pipetting is a simple yet time-consuming part of the PCR process. Using a liquid handling/pipetting robot can dramatically speed up the process. It’s best to combine an automated reagent dispensing system with a PCR liquid-handling robot to make the process almost completely human-free.
- Source for a suitable high-quality thermocycler – A thermocycler is the key component of any PCR process and must be procured carefully. Some factors to look into include accuracy of temperatures, durability, reliable ramp rates and hold times, and an adequate warranty and after-sale support.
Want to see the best options to fully automate the real-time PCR process in your laboratory? Contact Hudson Robotics to explore the products we have specifically for this purpose.