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Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)


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Lyophilized PCR products

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What is qPCR?


​Quantitative PCR (qPCR), also called real time PCR, is any version of PCR in which DNA is amplified and detected simultaneously. This is commonly done by combining a standard PCR reaction with a fluorescent dye. 


How does qPCR work?


Various dyes have been developed for qPCR, and typically fall into two categories. One group of dyes are non-specific and bind to any double-stranded DNA. Another group of dyes are sequence-specific and only bind to the targeted sequence. In both cases, the dye only fluoresces by binding to DNA, and the intensity of the fluorescence is used to quantify the DNA in the sample.


Why is qPCR useful?


Quantification of the amount of DNA inside a sample is highly useful for diagnosing many diseases. In some cases, this provides information on the severity of disease in a patient, which could affect the type of treatment that the patient undergoes. qPCR can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment, informing doctors of how to adjust each regimen to fit the patient's needs.