High Throughput - Redefined: Roche's New LightCycler® 1536 Real-Time PCR System

(PresseBox) (Penzberg, Germany, ) Large-scale, PCR-based gene analysis can only be performed if signals are generated, captured and analyzed in a highly reproducible manner. More precisely, thermal control, optical readout and the algorithms used to characterize genes qualitatively and quantitatively have to be highly precise and reliable. The new LightCycler® 1536 System from Roche Applied Science meets these requirements.

The novel platform, which utilizes a proprietary 1536-well plate, is capable of performing high-speed, qPCR-based DNA/RNA analyses in an array-like format.

Manfred Baier, Head of Roche Applied Science, said, "By scaling up qPCR throughput while miniaturizing individual reactions, we have produced the next generation of a powerful nucleic acids analysis system, combining the strengths of qPCR with the parallelism and throughput capability of low-density microarrays."

The instrument is based on the well-established LightCycler® 480 Platform architecture. It comes with a novel thermal cycler module tailored for heating and cooling miniaturized qPCRs in a multiwell plate with 1536 individual reaction wells. The LightCycler® 1536 Instrument supports the combination of two excitation filters with two detection filters, which are optimized for detecting green intercalating dyes as well as monocolor and dual-color hydrolysis probes. This makes optical read-out as specific as possible for chemical detection formats, while reducing the overall complexity of experimental layouts in a high-throughput scenario.

The basic software module of the new system allows users to set up and run reaction protocols easily. Compared to classic LightCycler® Systems, LightCycler® 1536 Software is particularly suited to enhancing compatibility for automated high-throughput data analysis workflows.

The LightCycler® 1536 Multiwell Plate is the first high-density PCR plate for real-time PCR applications. By using Thermaxis® technology, this unique multiwell plate, which has been developed by IT-IS International Ltd, enables unsurpassed thermal performance in miniaturized reaction volumes of only 0.5 - 2 µL. The plate consists of two components: a thermally conductive unit containing well-like structures for the reaction liquid and an insulating top layer that prevents the heated lid of the instrument from affecting the analysis.

An important trend in biological and biochemical analysis over the past 15 years has been miniaturization and parallelization of analytical procedures. Large-scale, high-throughput analysis of gene expression or genetic polymorphisms is an essential element of modern functional genomics, where individual samples are screened against many thousands of target genes. Its high sensitivity and accuracy make qPCR the well-established gold standard for precisely profiling gene expression levels or genotyping known SNPs.

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Dr. Burkhard Ziebolz
Roche Diagnostics GmbH
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