The initial screen of a compound library is essential to determining the subsequent success of the drug discovery initiative. Commonly employed microarray techniques, however, can prove problematic, with the reliability and accuracy of the expression data of individual genes being brought into question. By incorporating a validation step, through the use of qPCR, this potential issue can be eliminated.
In order for this validation to be highly accurate, the margin of error for the qPCR data must be minimal. Inter-plate uniformity is critical to obtaining a reliable qPCR performance. Therefore, the thermal cycler must be able to maintain accurate temperatures across the plate throughout the different phases of each PCR cycle.
The sensitive nature of qPCR protocols means that small variations in Cq can generate large inaccuracies, creating the potential for ideal drug candidates to be overlooked for further development. Through the use of the Thermo Scientific RNA Spike Control and PikoReal Real Time thermal cycler, molecular biology workflows can be executed in a highly efficient manner.
Uniformity across the plate is crucial for primer probe annealing and melt-curve analysis. By having a highly uniform block at all temperatures, the PikoReal ensures accuracy of data for all applications and chemistries that may be required, regardless of plate position.
Furthermore, this thermal cycler reduces energy, plastic, and reagent consumption, supporting efforts of the growing number of environmentally conscious laboratories. By combining an environmentally friendly design with thermal uniformity and a small laboratory footprint, researchers can take advantage of “green PCR” while minimizing variations in their workflow.