xxpress BJS: The Next Generation qPCR instrument
Thursday, Jun 16, 2016
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xxpress BJS: The Next Generation of Thermal Cyclers


Direct resistive Heating Technology  
By placing the xxplate consumable in a very low voltage circuit, we can direct and deliver precise amounts of heat. The system for heating uses a number of discrete power supplies to pass currents through the xxplate via a number of different routes, thus giving multi-zone heating control ensuring heat is delivered precisely to where it is required. A sensor array is also used to accurately control the temperature of the plate, recalculating and adjusting 100 times per second to actively maintain thermal uniformity.
Sample Plate  
  • The  xxplate is a single-use consumable, that is in itself, a complex, multi-zone heating element.
  • Heating accuracy of the sample is further enhanced by the key feature that, within the xxplate the liquid samples are separated from the temperature controlled surface, only by a polymer layer 10µm thick.

UF1 Sample plate vs Conventional Peltier block


In conventional block cyclers using Peltier effect devices, the primary limitation on performance is the 200-500 micron thick walls of the sample tube or microtitre plate separating the samples from the heat source. There are however a number of additional thermal barriers.

When the xxplate cross section is compared to a “conventional” peltier block the differences become apparent. The peltier device pumps heat to the electrical junction between the two materials mat1 and mat2 shown above. This heat then has to pass through a ceramic plate, into a metal base plate, then up a metal well form, then through the PP consumable, to reach the liquid assay. It is this inherent disconnect between temperature creation and sample that cause the “limits” that constrain the use of these systems.
Fluorescence detection
    • There are 5 exciting LED wavelengths, each with its own blocking filter, each paired with a specific wavelength band pass filter, mounted on a filter wheel in front of the camera. Each channel may be used in isolation or may be part of a multiplexing combination.
    • This enables the most popularly used fluorophores to be excited and detected by the xxpress® cycler. The emitted fluorescence is detected by a CCD camera Each LED has a band blocking filter in front of it. The blocked wavelengths being those that would pass through a particular selectable band pass filter in front of the camera. So, when the exciting LED is turned on, the camera cannot “see” reflected radiation from the LED, but can “see” emitted light from the fluorophore.
    • Fluorescence measurements are made through the transparent polyester sealing film over the tops of the wells. The second function of the camera is to detect whether a 96, 54, or 24 well consumable has been inserted, and to detect it’s orientation.

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