ARTICLE | Tools & Techniques

PCR at 10,000 g

October 29, 2001 8:00 AM UTC

Performing PCR, the standard DNA amplification method, can be tricky and tedious. Manual pipetting and handling of samples can introduce errors, and the repeated cooling and heating cycles necessary for amplification require several hours. AlphaHelix AB claims to have a solution that speeds up the process to less than 15 minutes.

The trick is to expose a special reagent cartridge, called Capilette, to brute gravitational force in a centrifuge. "At 10,000 g, a superconvection is generated within the cartridge, which ensures a very even and rapid temperature homogenization during heating and cooling," said Nicke Svanvik, director of instrument development. Heating is done in the centrifuge via pulses of infrared light, while cooling is performed through air wafting over the spinning cartridge...