See the Results of Our 2017 PCR Equipment Survey

Learn the top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a PCR system, and more.

By Erica Tennenhouse

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technology used to amplify a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude. This technique employs thermal cycling, which consists of repeated heating and cooling of the reaction for DNA melting and enzymatic replication. PCR has found applications in a variety of fields including medical and biological research, cloning, functional genetic analysis, forensics, and disease diagnosis.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying PCR Equipment

  1. Consider the type of equipment you need, whether it be standard PCR, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), or digital PCR.
  2. What sample formats do you require? While most users run their reactions in a 96-well format with 0.2 mL tubes, other formats are available.
  3. Consider the ramp temperature and time. Ideally, you want a system with fast temperature ramp up/cool down time, and with low error.
  4. How many users will be using the system? Systems which can run two independent PCRs at the same time might be desirable for labs with multiple users.
  5. Consider your throughput requirements. For high throughput applications, systems that can accommodate larger plate formats, or that have integrated automation and robotics may be desirable.

Types of PCR performed by survey respondents:

Standard PCR 71%
Multiplex PCR 32%
Real-time PCR / qPCR 77%
Digital PCR 8%
Other 2%

PCR applications as reported by survey respondents:

Gene Expression 45%
SNP Genotyping 22%
Microsatellite Analysis 12%
Copy Number Analysis 15%
Diagnostics 31%
Microarray/miRNA / RNAi Validation 7%
DNA Sequencing 41%
Site-directed Mutagenesis 13%
Cloning 22%
Pathogen Detection 39%
Viral Quantitation 9%
Other 7%

Nearly 58% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new PCR system. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
New application requiring different instrument

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a PCR system:

Consistent quality 93%
Ease of use 72%
Sensitivity 72%
User-friendly controls/software interface 67%
Service and support 65%
Price 63%
Warranty 56%
Multiplexing capability 51%
High-throughput ability 50%
Linear dynamic range 39%

For more information on PCR equipment, visit

See results from previous surveys:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Laboratory Hazards and Risks Magazine Issue Cover
Laboratory Hazards and Risks

Published: June 12, 2017

Cover Story