The PCR machines these days have been categorized into three. That is standard endpoint PCR, digital PCR, and quantitative real-time PCR. The standard PCR machines are basically used in creating many nucleic acid sequences that are going to be used in a subsequent manner for instance when it comes to cloning, sequencing, or just checking some reaction that may happen on a gel. Researchers basically know if they want a quantitative or standard PCR machine, definitely. But in relation to selecting between digital PCR or qPCR machines researchers at times require a little help. Normally the choice melts down to the questions that they want to be answered and the applications intended. When you hear aspects such as analysis or copy-number or even mutation detection, that is basically the place where digital PCR is going to give a much better answer or an exaggerated answer. However, when it comes to high-throughput application qPCR is more practical. Below are some of the factors that you must take into account when looking for a PCR machine.
To start with there is the factor of footprint and portability. There are some PCR machines that are made for portability, allowing researchers, military personnel or even investigators to do some testing for specific genetic materials in the industry or even outside the lab. However, in a lot of cases, the instruments usually work on lab benchtops that are crowded, this means that a small footprint is an added bonus. But they are capable of just getting so small. PCR instruments need particular common components for functioning in an appropriate manner like heating elements, a touch screen, and power supply. Therefore thermal cyclers that are of high-performance have a particular minimum size. Miniaturization is going to always be restricted to some extent.
User experience is a vital consideration. Ease of use is important for minimizing errors and smooth operations. Any person that is new to PCR is going to be in a position of getting touch-screen instruments today which equally simple to make use of. However advanced users might have a hard time switching from a single PCR brand to another since they already are accustomed to a certain interface. It is believed that the software interface is vital for the instrument’s usability as well as overall user experience most especially in labs used in diagnostic. In most cases, experience researchers basically pay attention to two key parameter accuracy and speed. With beginners though speed is the second consideration because at the end of the day what really matters is accuracy.
Lastly, there is the factor of the price of the PCR machine that should be taken into consideration. The price of the PCR machine will not be the same for all manufacturers. The truth is it will vary from one dealer to the other. It is up to you to do some research and find out the price that will suit your best then make your purchase. While making your purchase do not forget to consider the PCR machine’s quality as well.