Product News: Thermo Fisher Scientific Showcases New Real-Time PCR System at ELRIG

06 Sep 2012

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, was showcasing the new Thermo Scientific PikoReal Real-Time PCR System at ELRIG this week. We stopped by the Thermo Scientific booth to find out more about the instrument.

The PikoReal Real-Time PCR System, available in 24- and 96-well instrument formats, offers outstanding performance in a small bench-top footprint. The unique heating block design of PikoReal systems maintains excellent temperature uniformity and fast heating and cooling for optimal amplification. The proprietary ultra-thin wall (UTW®) Piko PCR plates lower running costs by minimizing reagent and plastics consumption. Although a quarter the size of standard plates, their well volumes and spacing allow compatibility with multichannel pipettes and liquid handling instrumentation. The PikoReal systems use less power than typical real-time PCR instruments, and they are designed to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for personal bench-top or field use.

We spoke to Ravindra Chaudhari, PhD, a Technical Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific who told us “the PikoReal Real-Time PCR System encompasses novel technology by way of the ultra-thin wall plates. These are approximately 150 µm in thickness, which permits optimal and uniform heat transfer. The beauty of using the ultra-thin wall plates is that the reaction volume can be significantly dropped. A reaction volume of 5-10 µl is required, which is much lower than conventional volumes of 25 µl, thus huge cost savings can be made on reagents.”

The built-in optical system of the PikoReal system contains five channels, pre-calibrated for the most common dyes, so users can perform multiplexing with four dyes while dedicating the fifth channel to
SYBR Green-related experiments.

The PikoReal system is controlled by PikoReal software, which allows users to remotely monitor any qPCR experiment on-line from their own computer. Alternatively, users can save the qPCR protocol on a USB stick and load it on to the PikoReal instrument for stand-alone use. PikoReal software includes modules for absolute and relative quantification, melting curve analysis, allelic discrimination and High Resolution Melting (HRM). The software includes user-friendly features such as the Virtual Pipetting Tool™, which guides users through plate setup.

“Real-time PCR is a ubiquitous technique,” added Ravindra Chaudhari. “It is fundamental procedure for a huge number of scientists and a system, like PikoReal, offering reduced energy consumption, plastic consumption and reagent consumption, makes a tremendous change to the running costs”