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Biology to the People! proPCR is an accessible, wifi-enabled, gradient PCR built to make it easy to learn about and work with genetics.
57 backers pledged $16,241 to help bring this project to life.
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About

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$16,241

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Our Aim is to Give Researchers, Teachers, Innovators, and Communities Access to 21st Century Technology

We built proPCR to simplify experiments, make it easier to learn and teach genetics, and increase access to this important technology.

The world will soon have 10 billion people. Environmental destruction and pollution, the depletion natural resources, and a loss of biodiversity threaten all of our health and wellbeing. Dramatically new solutions are required to meet these current and upcoming challenges. Life on the planet has been solving complex problems for eons, and our increasing understanding of genetics is just beginning to reveal these mechanisms and solutions. Synthetic biology is the practice of learning from nature to develop new ways to build a more sustainable, healthy, and just world. 

By improving safe and equitable access to biotechnology, the proPCR will accelerate the ability of diverse and interdisciplinary scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and students to develop the next generation of innovation.

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 Run Eight Reactions, Simultaneously

Gradient PCRs are usually thousands of dollars, but using clever design we have created the first affordable version. Determining the proper temperature for primers to anneal is crucial to achieving the best results. If the temperature is too low the primers risk off-site annealing, resulting in unintended amplicons that can disrupt downstream protocols. If the temperature is too high the primers will not be able to anneal and exponential amplification of the target sequence is unable to occur. The proPCR has a gradient thermal block with an 8 degree (C°) range, allowing you to set different annealing temperatures for each test tube, all during the same program. This means rather than having to run separate programs to determine the optimal annealing temperature, you can run just one. 

No Special Cables or Managing Software

The proPCR emits its own Wifi Network and can be programmed using any Wifi Enabled device with a modern web browser. You can also connect the proPCR to an existing Wifi Network so you can program and monitor your reaction while connected to your existing network.

Device and Browser Friendly

The proPCR doesn't need any special cables, apps, or software to connect, just a wifi enabled device with a modern web browser. Whether you're using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop - firefox, chrome, or safari - Apple, Android, or Microsoft, you will be able to easily connect, program, and monitor your proPCR.

As Easy as Joining a Wifi Network and Opening Your Browser

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Plays Well With Others

Each proPCR emits a unique Wifi Network and is accessible from a unique address. This allows you to simultaneously and wirelessly control a room full of proPCRs. This is great for teaching labs, classrooms, or if you simply want to run and monitor several proPCRs at the same time.

Local Storage 

All programs and settings are saved on the proPCR itself, so you'll always have access to your data, regardless of what device you access it with.

Intuitive Interface — Easy to Use and Great for Teaching

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Runs in Your Browser

No need to manage software or apps, the proPCR interface is easily accessible using any modern web browser. 

Responsive Design

It doesn't matter if you access the proPCR from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop—the interface will comfortably fit the screen for easy use. 

Touchdown PCR

To increase amplification specificity, proPCR interface includes built-in Touchdown PCR functionality. Touchdown PCR progressively decreases the anneal temperature to reduce unintended annealing and increase the concentration of the desired sequence.

A Touchdown PCR program has two phases, a Touchdown Phase and a Regular Phase. The touchdown phase starts with an anneal temperature higher than the calculated annealing temperature and is incrementally decreased every cycle until the calculated temperature is reached. This reduces off-site primer binding and increases the concentration of the desired amplicon. The regular phase continues the program at the calculated annealing temperature to exponentially amplify the desired amplicon.

The proPCR user interface makes it simple to run highly customized Touchdown PCR programs. And because the proPCR has a gradient heat block, you can also easily run a Touchdown Gradient PCR program to further increase specificity.

More information on Touchdown PCR: https://bitesizebio.com/2203/touchdown-pcr-a-primer-and-some-tips/

Linear Ramp 

The proPCR functionality goes beyond just running PCR programs. The user interface makes it simple run highly customized linear temperature ramps. A linear ramp starts the block at a desired temperature and, over the course of a set amount of time, changes the block to a deisred end temperature. This is great for annealing CRISPR gRNA oligos. Of course, you can also employ the proPCR's gradient functionality here to run a Gradient Linear Ramp program to further refine your reaction.

Heat Block

The proPCR can also be used as a static heat block by holding a set temperature for a set amount of time. You can also use the gradient functionality and run a Gradient Heat Block program.

+ Packed With Helpful Features +

Show Information Boxes

This feature allows you to turn on or off helpful information boxes for each parameter. This is a great way to help students learn about PCR.

Autostart

The Autostart feature allows you to select a saved program that will be automatically run the next time the proPCR powers on. This is great for teaching, running the same program often, or working in the field.

Connect to Wifi Network

This feature allows you to connect the proPCR to an existing Wifi Network. This allows you to access the internet and your proPCR at the same time, it's as simple as switching between tabs in your browser.

Broadcast proPCR Network

To make connection simple, the proPCR broadcasts its own unique wifi network by default, even if you have connected to another wifi network. If you wish to only access your proPCR via connecting to an existing wifi network, you can turn off the network broadcast from the proPCR.

Custom proPCR Password

The proPCR comes with a default password for the wifi network it broadcasts, but for increased security you can set a custom password for that network. You can always manually reset the proPCR to default settings if you forget the custom password.

Theme Color

The proPCR can easily be switched between 'light' and 'dark' themes, allowing you to choose the look and feel of the interface that you like best. This is great if you're working late and want to reduce screen brightness, think one is easier to read, or simply find a theme more aesthetic. 

Advanced

In the Advanced setting you can reset the proPCR to default settings.

Inspired by Researchers in Antarctica and Around the World

The proPCR is designed and built to be equally at home in the lab, classroom, or deep field. 

Small and Portable

The compact size doesn't hog valuable bench space or add unnecessary weight to a helicopter flight to a field camp.

Durable

We understand how demanding a classroom of students or fieldwork can be on equipment. Our design decisions are guided by our experience in the classroom and the field, because we know that small simple things can make a big difference. For example, a fragile lid closure mechanism snapping off in the field can become a big problem, which is why we employed a neodymium magnet system to keep the lid securely closed without worrying about breaking fragile plastic clips.

12V DC Powered

To ensure maximum functionality in remote settings, we designed the proPCR to run on 12V DC power, meaning that it can be powered from a car battery, solar system, snowmachine, or small lightweight lithium battery packs.

Risks and challenges

The proPCR has a handful of custom designed electrical components to ensure maximum performance, but which could cause delays if initial deliveries do not meet our specifications. We have established relationships with several reputable suppliers, but new components can sometimes present challenges. Because we will absolutely not compromise on quality or performance, some additional time may be required to iron out any problems.

We have been designing and building tools and electronics for several years, and we will be manufacturing much of the proPCR in house. This allows us ensure the high level of quality that we expect from the machines we work with in the lab. It also gives us much more control over our timeline, as most of the individual components are widely accessible, so we aren't dependent on a single external manufacturing house.

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    For every 15 pledges we will donate one proPCR to a school.

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    2x proPCR
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Funding period

- (34 days)