Droplet Digital PCR

Photo of Droplet Digital PCR


The Bio-Rad QX-200 Droplet Digital PCR system is a recent addition to the facility. Capable of the absolute quantification of target DNA or RNA, the system either uses EvaGreen (similar to SYBR) or probe-based (TaqMan) chemistries.

ddPCR is more precise and sensitive than qPCR and eliminates the need for technical replicates. The method involves a PCR reaction that is detected by a fluorescent dye (EvaGreen or TaqMan) which is partitioned into approximately 20,000 single nanoliter-sized droplets. Following partitioning, the droplets undergo PCR and then are read on a flow cytometer-like system. Up to 96 samples can be run at a time

Digital PCR workflow

Digital PCR Sample data image

Some typical applications of the system include:

  • Copy Number Variation Analysis
  • Rare Mutation and Sequence Detection
  • Gene Expression
  • Next-Generation Sequencing Library Analysis

A typical run on the instrument requires about a 4 hour time block. The BIF has a few reagents for beginning users to try out.

See our application note about the limits of detection and also our step-by-step guide to use of the instrument.

A few videos from Bio-Rad explaining the technology and applications which may be useful to those with more interest in the system:


Contact Dan Stevens for training.

Droplet Digital PCR calendar
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