Thermal cyclers, commonly known as thermocyclers or PCR machines, are a piece of equipment that is necessary for any molecular biology laboratory. It is a very important instrument for DNA amplification. It’s a continuous workhorse that lab workers need to run effectively and efficiently.
How does a thermal cycler work?
A thermocycler contains a thermal block with holes through which reaction mixture tubes can be inserted. The cycler’s temperature rises and falls in precise, pre-programmed steps. The oldest thermal cyclers were enormous and bulky, with numerous water baths maintained at consistent temperatures, and the samples were transported between baths by a robotic arm.
How to choose the right thermal cycler for yourself?
With so many thermal cycler models available in the market today, choosing the best for your lab can be a daunting task. However, you will be able to overcome this issue once you figure out how much output your lab will require.
For instance, personal PCR machines, which stand discreetly on your desk or benchtop, may be ideal for small batches of samples. Due to their small size, several of these mini models have quicker run times than the larger ones because their smaller size allows for rapid temperature changes. If you want a thermocycler for the field, then you can get portable ones. They are compact and best for use in the field.
However, labs that have to perform high-throughput PCR should get thermocyclers that can be controlled from a single instrument and can accommodate a large number of samples.