Thursday 3 December 2015

Programmable PCR from GNAcode

Fancy being able to run 16 PCR programs simultaneously? The new MiniCube PCR machine from GNAcode does just that. Add qPCR functionality and this machine might improve NGS library prep.

How does it work: The programmable nature the Minicube effectively gives you 16 different and independent PCR machines hosted in onebox. Allowing you to design multiple incubations and PCR protocols and execute them in parallel or even start them at different times.
The interface is iOS and the MiniCube is controlled from an iPad, and a GNAPCR app is coming soon. And there is a REST API allowing Open-Source coding on Linux and Android.
qPCR MiniCube: Whilst I don't see a huge need to run 8 or 16 independent PCRs very often I did think of an application that might impact one of the problems we see in NGS library prep. If GNAcode can add real-time PCR functionality to the machine then we could stop an NGS library prep PCR once a certain Ct threshold was met, avoiding over amplification of many libraries. Today all libraries on a plate get the same number of PCR cycles even if the input nucleic acid amount or quality varies. For some kits you need to empirically choose the appropriate number if cycles and this can be hard to do, I think a machine that could switch off a PCR program once a defined Ct were reached could make an impact on library quality. This might be particularly useful in very low-input experiments like ctDNA, or for low-quality samples like FFPE.

Of course I'd prefer a 96 well model, but they are unlikely to build one just for me. If you think this is a good idea please contact :

Follow GNAcode on Twitter. In the UK you can buy the MiniCube from Stratech Scientific Ltd, get in touch with for a quote.


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