London-based BJS Biotechnologies is set to launch a new thermal cycler UF1 at Biotechnica 2010, in Hannover, Germany (5-7 October 2010).

UF1 increases the speed of DNA amplification by up to ten-fold, opening up opportunities for the use of PCR in Point-of-Care diagnosis, BJS Biotechnologies said.

According to BJS, the UF1 thermal cycler uses a low-cost single-use, recyclable consumable that combines the microtitre plate, heat exchange block and attached heaters. The disposable plate eliminates the time and cost involved in cleaning, as well as reduces the risk of cross-sample contamination.

BJS Biotechnologies R&D director Ian Gunter said that current real-time PCR thermal cyclers are both expensive and slow. We developed the technology because we had become frustrated with the limited power and heat, as well as the lack of thermal uniformity, from cyclers using the Peltier effect devices.

BJS Biotechnologies MD Richard Lewis said that UF1 provides reliable and reproducible results within five to six minutes, compared with one to two hours for thermal cyclers that rely on heat exchange. This means that one machine could do the work of ten, freeing up bench space and increasing laboratory productivity.

BJS Biotechnologies is in discussion with a number of European distributors, and UF1 will be rolled out across Europe in early 2011, beginning in the UK.