How could digital PCR benefit clinical analysis?

Jim Francis Huggett
LGC, United Kingdom

Digital PCR (dPCR) is achieved by separating a PCR reaction into a large number of partitions so that a proportion contain no template. Unlike qPCR, dPCR does not require a calibration curve for quantitative analysis, offers more precise quantification as well as sensitive detection of minority genetic targets. Evidence suggests dPCR may also be more reproducible than other molecular methods, which would make it ideal for clinical applications like diagnostics. This talk will discuss the work of two European Metrology Research Programme funded projects, Infect-Met and Bio SITrace, which have investigated dPCR and highlight some of the prospective advantages as well the disadvantages. A prediction of how this method may impact on the future the application of molecular methods to clinical analysis will also be presented.

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