Which thermocycler ? - results

Smoothies channels at sghms.ac.uk
Tue Aug 18 10:12:09 EST 1998

A while ago I asked people's opinions on thermocyclers in view to help
us make a decision in buying
a new one for our lab and I promised to post the results so here they
I got a total of 11 non commercial or affiliated answers.

The PE geneamps were mentioned the most (6 times:9700> 2400 > 4800=9600)
for their reliability, speed, ease of programing and some extra features
like users passwords, software updating by internet. The 9600 was also
judged as dated.

Then came the MJ research (maxi, minicyclers, PCT-200), the Eppendorf
gradient thermocycler and the Stratagene robocycler.
The MJ research machines were said to be easy to program (+200 progs
capacity), very reliable with extras like multiple simultaneous blocks
and computer control possibility. One person mentioned good after sale
service and another one said they had a "cheap" feel.
The Eppendorf gradient cycler was mentioned 3 times as a good tool for
optimising annealing temperatures.
The Stratagene robocycler was called "fast", "precise" but also
"difficult to program", "cumbersome". The preheating time was long (30
min) and while giving good specificity it was not the best to use for
optimising annealing temperatures.

The Techne (Tecne ?) machine (no model ref) was mentioned twice as "hard
to program" and "cheap to buy".

Finally Biometra and Hybaid (Express) got one mention each.

We have not tried any of the above machines except the Biometra, which
we find inacurate and slow, and the Hybaid (Express & Sprint) which we
like (fast, easy to program, accurate + extra features) - good value for
money I think.

Please feel free to comment.

Claire Fenech - PhD student
Dpt of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology
St George's Hospital Medical School
London - UK

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