Building the $100 Thermocycler

Cornelius Krasel krasel at
Wed Feb 2 08:43:19 EST 2000

Louis Hom <lhom at> wrote:
> The recent developments surrounding the PCR patents in the US have got me
> thinking about designing a low cost thermocycler that might make PCR more
> accessible to labs (like high schools or undergrad labs at small schools)
> that can't afford the $4000 price tag associated with most thermocyclers
> out there.
> I think it can be done for as little as $100-150.

When PCR was just becoming available, the Max-Planck-Institute for
Biochemistry built their own thermocyclers with a Peltier element
which was controlled by (I believe) a Sharp microcomputer (you know,
these calculator-sized basic computers which cost around US$100).
They worked rather nicely, but were slow and quite cumbersome to

I don't know whether they published the instructions for this, however.

--Cornelius (showing his age).

/* Cornelius Krasel, U Wuerzburg, Dept. of Pharmacology, Versbacher Str. 9 */
/* D-97078 Wuerzburg, Germany   email: phak004 at  SP4 */
/* "Science is the game we play with God to find out what His rules are."  */

More information about the Methods mailing list