Recommended Article from Integrated DNA Technologies: Digital PCR – What is it and Why Use it?
Our collaborators at Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) recently posted another informative article that explains the scientific fundamentals, advantages and applications of our RainDrop™ Digital PCR (dPCR) platform. Below are a few of the key points in the article.
What it is
dPCR is a novel method for precise quantification of nucleic acids. It uses similar assay reagents as used in standard analog measurements, but counts the total number of individual target molecules in a digital format, enabling many applications that require high sensitivity and have restricted sample availability.
Uncertainty in this “absolute” measurement comes only from error in the measured volume or the presence of more than a single target molecule in a compartment, so dPCR methods, (like the RainDrop dPCR platform) which control for these two factors provide the highest accuracy.
dPCR platforms using higher numbers of compartments provide the highest sensitivity—with limits of detection approaching 1 in a million, and the widest dynamic range of inputs—over 6 logs. Built on RainDance’s patented and proven RainStorm™ picodroplet technology, the RainDrop™ dPCR platform generates up to 10 million picoliter-sized droplets per lane.
Multiple target types can be quantified within the same sample by multiplexing both with different “colors” (e.g., hydrolysis probes containing different dyes) and different “intensities” (e.g., probes with different target specificity but the same dye can be distinguished at the PCR endpoint by using different probe concentrations). RainDrop users are able to conduct up to 10 tests or more on the same sample using this single molecule multi-color detection technique.
Many Important Applications
The RainDrop dPCR platform transforms the performance of molecular assays by enabling digital answers across a number of important applications including rare allele detection in heterogeneous tumors or other genetic-based diseases; liquid biopsies of solid tumor burden using peripheral body fluids; viral load detection; gene expression; copy number variation in heterogeneous samples; assays with limited sample material, such as single cell gene expression and FFPE samples; DNA quality control tests before sequencing; and validation of low frequency mutations identified by sequencing.
If you are interested in learning more about the RainDrop Digital PCR system, please contact us by filling out this form. A RainDance representative will follow up with you to answer your questions and discuss how digital PCR might support your work.
The RainDrop Digital PCR System is for Research Use Only; not for use in diagnostic procedures.