Bio-Rad Droplet Digital PCR


Note: The UMGC will be closed from Monday, May 16 - Friday, May 20, and we will not be receiving or processing samples during this week. Self-service instruments will be unavailable during the closure. 

The UMGC provides digital PCR through the QX200 Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) system produced by Bio-Rad. This technology offers flexible digital PCR chemistry that can use Taqman hydrolysis probes or EvaGreen assays for high-precision absolute quantification of nucleic acid targets without the need for a standard curve. Digital PCR is ideal for measurements of copy number variation, rare sequence detection, gene expression, target DNA/RNA, and microbial quantification.

We offer two ddPCR service options to serve our University of Minnesota clients with additional services to be added later this year. Our current service options are client operated to give users ultimate flexibility with experimental design and project turnaround.

Clients purchase their own Bio-Rad reagents and consumables, including the EvaGreen Supermix or the Supermix for Probes, and use a dedicated ddPCR workstation in NHH to complete the following QX200 workflow:

  • Reaction set-up
  • Droplet generation
  • PCR amplification
  • Droplet reading
  • ddPCR analysis

Download the Droplet Digital PCR Applications Guide for in-depth information about setting up ddPCR experiments using the Bio-Rad system.

Please note, one-time instrument training is required for all new users before using the ddPCR workstation.



Please contact Dr. Pat Grady at for further details on the QX200 ddPCR system.



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Service Scale Unit UMN External
Required training.
A staff scientist will guide new users through their first ddPCR experiment that produces data. Up to two scientists from one lab can attend the training in NHH. 1 session $162.58 $186.92
Client operated run. Manual droplet generation.
Client independently uses the ddPCR workstation at our NHH site to fully execute their own experiment including manual droplet generation and reading. 1 half-day $202.32 $232.50
Client operated run. Auto droplet generation.
Client independently uses the ddPCR workstation at our NHH site to fully execute their own experiment including high-throughput droplet generation and reading. 32 samples $133.34 $153.26
UMGC read only.
Client prepares the reactions, droplets, amplifies at the workstation, and the UMGC will place your post-amplification plate on the reader and send you via email your data. 1 half-day $200.96 N/A

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How to sign-up

Email the Training Request Form below to to set up a training time. Please dedicate approximately 4 hours for training.

Once ddPCR training is complete, clients will be given access to the google calendar where they can view available ddPCR workstation times in NHH. Timeslot options are from 8:30 AM-12:30 PM or 12:30 PM-4:30 PM but please inquire if alternate times are needed. Clients should email the submission form to to provide an EFS number for billing and indicate the day and time desired for reserving the workstation.


Training Request Form


Client Operated Service Submission Form


Client Consumable List


Location for training and the ddPCR workstation

Room 1-202
Nils Hasselmo Hall
Lead: Darrell Johnson
Phone: 612-624-3177
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Monday – Friday



The data is retrieved by client after their droplet reading via USB Flash Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, email, etc. If time permits, clients have the option of using the QuantaSoft software at the ddPCR workstation. Alternatively, QuantaSoft is available by download after a Bio-Rad account is created and clients can analyze data on their lab PC.


For client who elect for the UMGC Read-only service, once your droplets have finished reading, we will send you the entire data file via google drive or the .csv file by email. Clients can download the QuantaSoft software for in-house analysis of their droplet data.


Where can I access the QuantaSoft software and its manual?

The QuantaSoft software will be available on the computer at the ddPCR workstation, but is also available with the manual for download to UMN clients after a Bio-Rad account is created.

What consumables do I need to purchase?

The UMGC provides Rainin pipettors and tips, 96-well plates, foil seals, droplet reader oil, and gloves at the workstation. All other reagents and consumables are the responsibility of the client. Details on consumables needed for the QX200 ddPCR system can be found here and can be purchased through UMarket.

What instruments are at the ddPCR workstation?

All required instruments needed for operating the QX200 ddPCR system are at the workstation, including the following support equipment: C1000 deep well thermocycler, the PX1 plate sealer, centrifuge, and cartridge holders.

Am I able to drop-off samples and primers/probes for UMGC processing?

The UMGC does not have a Full Service option for ddPCR at this time, but we anticipate having this service available later this year. Please contact us for updates.

Am I able to drop-off client prepared reactions for UMGC droplet generation, amplification, and droplet reading?

The UMGC does not have a Partial Service option for ddPCR at this time, but we anticipate having this service available later this year. Please contact us for updates.