7 Key Features to Look for in a High-Quality Cycler
We live in a world in which technology develops at lightning speed, making it almost impossible to keep up. It is no surprise, therefore, that the pcr thermal cyclers are also developing, improving continuously. Thermocyclers, as they are also known, are very important pieces of technology within DNA testing laboratories. If this is the first time you want to buy one, or if you want to upgrade the one you already have, then here are seven key things that you should look for to make sure you have the most technologically advanced model.
Quick Temperature Changes
If temperature changes can be completed quickly, you will save a huge amount of time working in your lab. When you perform a DNA test, you need to be able to rapidly switch between different temperatures so that the test can run properly.
Settling Time Should Be Short
Once the right temperature has been reached in your thermocycler, it will take a little bit of time to stabilize and settle to a specific zone. If you want to be more efficient, you should choose a model that does this as soon as possible. Your throughput will be greatly increased if you have short intervals between stabilization.
The Uniformity of the Block Temperature Should Be Precise
One of the most important things in being able to repeat a test is the block uniformity of a pcr thermal cycler. It doesn’t matter where you take the measurement of temperature on a block, each reading should be exactly the same. You have to make sure, therefore, that your thermocycler has tight block uniformity tolerance levels.
The Blocks Should Be Interchangeable and They Should Come with Different Block Formats
Laboratories are incredibly dynamic environments. You must make sure that your pcr thermal cycler is able to change when it is out of your block. Should your lab needs change, or your block fail, leading you to have to use a different block format, you shouldn’t have to purchase a new thermocycler. Rather, you should only need to purchase a new block. Potentially, this could save you several thousand dollars.
It Should Have Non-Gradient and Gradient Capabilities
You should be able to integrate your thermocycler with gradient technology, turning it into a robust instrument. By adding this feature, you can save a whole lot of time because a single run will allow you to test a wealth of samples across more than one temperature. In fact, you shouldn’t even consider a thermocycler that does not have this feature.
The Footprint Should Be of a Small Instrument
There isn’t a lot of space in laboratories. Hence, you have to make sure that you don’t end up with a machine that takes up a great deal of space. Thanks to new technological developments, the size of these devices has been significantly reduced.
It Should Have Plenty of Programming Memory
Last but not least, your pcr thermal cycler should have plenty of memory so that you can program it to your needs. Having to reprogram protocols is a waste of time and influence by human error.