Biorad Mini Opticon - can use any 0.2ml tubes or Biorad only? (Apr/22/2010 )
Can any type of 0.2 ml PCR tubes be used in the Mini Opticon or must the special tubes be bought from Biorad? I noticed that the Biorad-supplied 0.2ml tubes are shorter than normal 0.2 tubes. Would this be a problem? Also, since the LED camera is on top, optical-clear flat caps would be the better choice instead of dome cap tubes, right?
From my experience with the MiniOpticon, the tube selection may be very particular. I have used the white 8-tube strips and optically-clear 8-cap strips from Biorad would good success. The unit has tight tolerances in the way it closes and therefore it may be difficult to use a taller tube or dome caps. The use of opaque white or black tubes is necessary to isolate the fluorescence in each tube and on top of that each type of tube requires a calibration file. The MiniOpticon instrument is only shipped with a certain number of tube calibrations, so the use of other brand tubes may require you to do your own calibration runs. More off-brand qPCR consumables are probably becoming more available as this instrument and qPCR altogether becomes more commonplace.