An introduction to digital PCR

Jim Francis Huggett
LGC, United Kingdom

Digital PCR (dPCR) reflects the latest incarnation of the polymerase chain reaction that converts its output into a binary signal. This is achieved by performing limiting dilution of the sample into a large number of reactions (partitions) so that a proportion contain no template. The proportion of positive and negative partitions are measured and used to estimate the concentration of target molecules present. Unlike qPCR, dPCR does not require a standard curve for accurate and sensitive measurement and potentially offers more precise quantification as well as improved fold change measurement and detection of minority target information. This presentation will discuss the benefits of this approach as well as some of the disadvantages, highlight the MIQE considerations that apply to dPCR and offer a prediction of how dPCR may impact on molecular measurement in the future.

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