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How I use the miniPCR machine to grow my biotech company and also contribute to life science research.

miniPCR Review

The miniPCR and blueGel systems represent the core instruments involved in the assistance we provide to real scientists who conduct life science research in Canada. Both laboratory instruments were essential in solving dozens of problems that prospect customers were facing with DNA amplification by PCR. The miniPCR, blueGel and Transgen Biotech DNA Polymerases contribute to our success by enabling us to build trustful relationships with our customers and forge a unique aspect of our business identity.

Here is our Success Story.

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miniPCR, the PCR Thermocycler for Everyone, Everywhere

miniPCR specifications

  • Sample format: 8 x 0.2ml PCR tubes (strip compatible)
  • Max Heating Ramp Rate: 3.2°C / sec
  • Heated Lid: Independent lid heater up to 120°C, PID controlMax
  • Cooling Ramp Rate: 2.2°C / sec
  • Program Sharing and Backup: Unlimited libraries, .plf file
  • Temperature control: Resisitive Heating; Forced-Air cooling
  • Control System: Embedded thermistors and PID algorithm
  • Temperature Range: Ambient – 99°C
  • Dimensions: 5.1 cm x 12.7 cm x 10.2 cm.
  • Weight: 1 lb. (450 g) approx.
  • Internal memory: Runs last stored program at power ON
  • Power Supply: AC 100-240V, 50-60hz, 70W
  • Adjustable lid: Compatible with flat or domed caps

How our Relationship with the miniPCR began.

Starting back in early 2015 when Civic Bioscience did not even exist, I was browsing technology projets on KickStarter when I suddenly noticed the miniPCR campaign led by Sebastian and Zeke. The idea of having my own personal thermocycler at home ignited my entrepreneurial spirit. At about the same time, I had communicated with a young company named Transgen Biotech, which was basically unknown to the Canadian market. Transgen had an interesting product portfolio including DNA polymerases, DNA ladders, reverse transcriptases, competent cells and cloning kits among other things.

By the month of August 2015, the birth of Civic Bioscience then bloomed into reality; Transgen Biotech accepted to offer us distributorship in Canada and a few weeks later I bought what would become my preferred tool, the miniPCR and blueGel systems sold by Sebastian and his team at Amplyus LLC.

miniPCR helped us to create over 30 PCR Success Stories !

PCR Difficulties?

Now let’s jump backwards to my 2012-2014 career – when I used to work as Territory Manager for New England Biolabs Canada. Back then, I often came across customers/scientists that had difficulties with DNA amplification and PCR. One day, I had suggested to my former boss : ‘’Could I help my customers directly by performing PCR for them and solve their difficulties?’’. The answer from my boss was a firm NO.

Our Mission: Your Success!

In early 2016 when I received my miniPCR and blueGel system, I knew I had to be different from the many existing suppliers out there. After having incredibly good feedback for Transgen Biotech’s EasyTaq DNA Polymerase, I decided to do what no other company out there would even dare to do : solve PCR problems and optimize any PCR reaction that we could find.

Story #1: Confetti Mouse Genotyping by PCR

With the help of the miniPCR, the 2-in-1 blueGel electrophoresis and LED light transilluminator and my own Samsung Galaxy Note 4, I first helped a well known and established laboratore located at McGill Goodman Cancer Center in Montreal. The project consisted in helping them convert the Taq from NEB and Qiagen they routinely used for mouse genotyping by PCR. This project became our very first PCR Success Story and EasyTaq would become our best selling product! Their group routinely performed EGFP, flox/src, NeuN, Cre, and Confetti mice genotyping by PCR. Notably, their ”Confetti” PCR was the most challenging, often failing at amplifying the mutant allele, even with the very expensive Taq DNA polymerase from Qiagen. Back in my NEB-days, it had taken about 2 years to convert this lab to OneTaq from NEB. But still then, they sometimes had to use the Qiagen Taq for difficult DNA amplifications. This time, it only took me 2 weeks to fully convert the lab exclusively to EasyTaq. How I did it? The lab gave me a couple of mouse DNA extracts and DNA primers. Starting off with their lab protocols, I replicated every reaction using miniPCR and EasyTaq. It was so easy, even for the difficulf mutant Confetti allele that the lab subsequently ordered thousands of units of EasyTaq DNA Polymerase!

PCR for Cre recombinase and floxed alleles

EasyTaq performed better than any other Taq DNA Polymerase.

Allo Simon,

J’ai fait le tour de la plupart de mes PCRs avec ta EasyTaq et mon constat c’est qu’elle marche très bien mëme avec certains PCRs plus difficiles.

Ceci dit, je vais continuer d’inciter les gens du lab a l’utiliser en remplacement des autres taqs que nous avons.

Bonne journee!

PCR Success Story #1


Assistante de recherche, McGill University

Over 30 Different PCR Problems Solved

Ever since we’ve completed PCR Success Story #1, with the miniPCR combined with the exceptional DNA polymerases from Transgen Biotech we have so far been able to solve over 30 different PCR problems from all over the province of Quebec, here in Canada.

Thanks to the miniPCR

our Biotech Company has Evolved

Civic Bioscience can currently provide PCR services such as DNA cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, mouse genotyping by PCR and 16S ribosomal DNA analysis. Using the miniPCR, we’ve now completed over 20 different paid projects for various customers who rely on our expertise for their PCR and cloning needs.

The reputation of the miniPCR thermocycler has gone far, very far.

miniPCR logo
On the side of Amplyus and their miniPCR system, they have gone farther than anyone else in their field by sending the miniPCR in space! Not only once, but multiple times! miniPCR created Genes in Space™ in 2015 in partnership with Boeing, with the goal of inspiring young minds to solve real-world problems in space biology.

Advantages of owning a miniPCR thermocycler

  • Enabled us to solve customer problems.
  • Works like magic when used with Transgen’s DNA Polymerases.
  • Very robust, heavy duty and reliable.
  • Can be used for at least 8 PCR runs per day.
  • Portable instrument
  • Controlled by computer or mobile device

Negative aspects about the miniPCR

  • Low throughput (8 reactions per run)
  • Noisy (venting system)

Want to Read More about PCR?

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