The Locust PCR kit will consist of three devices. In order to make PCR accessible to everyone, we use off-the-shelf components where possible and try to cut costs without compromising performance.
The thermocycler is used to perform the polymerase chain reaction by cycling through a set of specific temperatures. Throughout each cycle the genetic material undergoes a range of thermally triggered processes to finally be copied by the polymerase enzyme provided in our kit. The process is akin to every natural replication of DNA as the enzyme employed is almost identical to the one utilized in most living cells.
Gel Electrophoresis Chamber
The gel electrophoresis exploits the fact that DNA is a negatively charged molecule and therefore attracted by a positive electrode. Travelling along an agarose gel, longer fragments of the DNA are subjected to a stronger resistance and separated from smaller, faster travelling fragments. To visualize the different velocities, the fragments are successively stained and analyzed.
To visualize the DNA segments separated via gel electrophoresis a range of fluorescent dyes can be used. As we are aiming our kits at educational institutions, our kits will provide non-toxic dyes to be used in combination with the safe black-light illumination beds included in our setup.