To Compress or Not to Compress...


Have you ever had one of those annoying garden hoses that leaks no matter what you seem to do?  You change that little washer a zillion times but water is still erupting from one end or the other!  Similarly, this seems to be the topic of the month at SeqGen for our qPCR and thermal cycler customers.  Several calls and emails have come in detailing customer frustration over sample evaporation around the edges of their plates or lids cracking on the 9700 thermal cycler.

In many cases the fix for this problem is simpleand inexpensive.  If you are, for any reason noticing sample evaporation, here are a few things you can check.

On the 7900HT, look at the bottom of your tray adaptor to see if the metal springs are broken or uneven.


Second, check to see if you are using a compression plate or not.  Depending upon the type of seal you use for your plates, the use of a compression pad may enhance the seal and prevent leakage.
For your 7900HT we have had some good reviews on the compression pad below.  The pad is a clip-on design, and the metal is flexible.  Make sure to bend the outside edges around the sample plate so that the plate seats snuggly in the pad. 
For any Real Time PCR machine, 9700, 9800 or even 2700 series thermal cycler, you may want to try the compression pad below:

A word of caution if you are using a compression pad with your 9700, 9800, or 2700 series thermal cycler: make sure the pad you are using is the correct thickness. The pad pictured above will work well with these machines, however, there are many after market designs of varying thickness.  If you are using a generic brand, try not to push down too firmly on the lid handle or it will crack.

If you have any additional information to share, let the world know!  Post a comment on our blog page.  We love to hear from you via blog comment, our website, email or even the old fashioned way - a phone call. Give us a shout.


Susan Henry
Service Team
SeqGen, Inc.

Written by Susan Henry

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