gradient robocycler help

MichaelCataniamcatania at MichaelCataniamcatania at
Tue Aug 27 23:18:05 EST 1996

wegloehner at wrote:

>dear netters,

>to make a long story short. what do you think about stratagenes robocycler
>gradient PCR amchine. Is it worth the money and how is the reliability of its
>mechanical parts. before i am going to spend a lot of money it would be nice to
>get some informations beside the one from stratagene.
>any hints would be greatly appreciated.

>Dr. W. Wegloehner

 Dr Wegloehner,

We have had one in our lab for about 5 months, and it doesn't seem to
have any reliability problems so far.  For  US$6000, though, I have a
few complaints;  First is that it doesn't have a heated lid, which
makes no sense in a machine this price, so mineral oil overlays are
required.  Second, it cannot do any of the more advanced procedures
such as touchdown, or even segment extension.  Third, and this is
minor but can be annoying to users, the blocks ramp at about 1.5 deg C
per min, so if your reactions are ready to go, and you forget to turn
the machine on early, it takes half an hour or more to reach
temperature (I do this often because I am used to a Perkin-Elmer that
ramps much faster). Another small point is that linked programs must
be specified each time the machine is turned on: there is no link file
memory, also silly at this price, though they must have a reason.
On the good side, it is easy to program, though a bit tedious, and
will complete a program much faster than on a comparable one block
machine (I do wonder whether eliminating ramp times from the
incubation periods is valid, especially with 100ul reactions). Also,
if you do not use touchdown for your PCRs the gradient block is great
for optimization.

In a nutshell, if you don't mind using oil overlays, and use only
basic programming protocols, it is a good machine.  The robotic arm is
also kinda cool to watch, too ( :

 grad student 4 ever,

		Michael Catania

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