qPCR mashines evaluation

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Rina's picture
qPCR mashines evaluation

Hi all
I will greatly appreciate any information (advantages and disadvantages) regarding recently available on the market qPCR machines:
1.StepOnePlus Real time PCR system of Applied Biosystems
2. 7500 Fast Real time PCR system of Applied Biosystems
3. Roche LightCycler 480
4. Any suggestions??
Thanks alot

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture

Hi Rina,
Choosing a new real time PCR system can be quite tricky. Here is what I can say about the systems you mentioned.
The 7500 system is the one I have the most experience with. It works well yet you pay for it (~$45,000). The StepOne Plus is pretty much a newer version of the 7500 and it is a little more affordable. It is too new for me to say if it is worth it compared to a 7500 since the price difference is quite low. 
The LC 480 is a very good system and you can perform HRM with it, but it is very expensive (~$65,000). 
There are many other, very good systems, out there, including the Agilent Mx3005P, the Qiagen RotorGene Q, the BioRad MyiQ and CFX96, just to name some. All these systems provide very similar capabilities at significantly more affordable prices.
In short, you need to determine what you need the instrument for. Once you identify your specific need it is easier to determine which instrument best meets your needs. 

Rina's picture
Thank you, Ivan for the

Thank you, Ivan for the information
My concern was the quality of the assay, partially due to equal temperature distribution over the plate and the program software accessibilities. Also technical support from provider has an input.
If you know more about these issues, pls let me know

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture

Hi Rina,
The quality of the assay is highly dependent on how well it was designed. I am sure you know that. It may be easiest to purchase an pre-designed assay; otherwise, it is advisable to take time and validate your assay before using it (running a standard curve, etc). 
As for plate uniformity, all the instruments are pretty good. If you are concerned about quality, pretty much all companies would give you access to their instrument to demo before making a decision. The software is the same: most software are pretty good and how easy they are to use depends on your experience. Most people are used to ABI software so they find it easy. I've heard that BioRad's used to be good but is not that good anymore. 
Technical support is a tricky thing. ABI has a reputation for not giving very good tech support, but you never know when you come across someone that may be helpful. I find Qiagen's tech support one of the best. 
Hope this helped.

Touchstone42's picture
The following qPCR machines

The following qPCR machines are compared for various features to help you decide which instrument is most suitable for your needs.
Applied Biosystems: ABI 7300, ABI 7500, ABI 7500 Fast, ABI 7900 Fast HT with automation accessory, ABI StepOne
Roche: LightCycler 480, LightCycler 1.5, LightCycler 2.0
Stratagene: Mx4000, Mx3000P, Mx3005P
Cepheid: SmartCycler
Corbett: Rotor-Gene 6000
Eppendorf: Mastercycler ep realplex
BioRad: MiniOpticon, MyiQ, Opticon2, Chromo4, iQ5