Information about Thermocyclers and Hot Plate Stirrers

Two common pieces of lab equipment are thermocyclers and hot plate stirrers. Here is some basic information about both to assist you in making your lab purchases.


Thermocyclers, or thermal cyclers, are instruments used to amplify DNA and RNA samples by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The thermocycler raises and lowers the temperature of the samples in a holding block in discrete, pre-programmed steps, allowing for denaturation and reannealing of samples with various reagents. Amplified genetic material can be used in many downstream applications such as cloning, sequencing, expression analysis, and genotyping.

When choosing a thermocycler, consider the types of applications needed, the sample number and volume, and options such as interchangeable blocks. Gradient options allow a range of temperatures across the block, useful for optimizing PCR conditions such as primer annealing temperatures. Multiple, smaller blocks at different temperatures also allow more flexibility. Also consider the capability to upgrade a standard machine to a real-time thermocycler, as well as space-saving footprints and touch-screen operation.

Here are a couple of the thermocyclers available at Next Day Science:

TC9639 Thermal Cycler:

The TC9639 Thermal Cycler provides reliable results for laboratories with medium to high throughput. From its unique, multi-format block to its large, touch-screen user interface, this cycler is loaded with features. The program wizard and ten preinstalled programs make it easier than ever to get up and running. A large, full-color touch screen serves as the operations center where all functions are accessed. From the home screen, simply touch an icon to view the last run program, enter the program library, or use the program wizard to quickly enter a protocol. In addition, icons for favorite programs can be added for faster access.

MultiGene Mini:

The MultiGene Mini is a compact and lightweight thermal cycler, but do not let its small size fool you. This cycler is packed with features typically found only on larger thermal cyclers. Excellent accuracy and uniformity combine with fast ramping rates to provide quality results. An algorithm calculates sample temperature, based on volume, to control heating and cooling of the block. This means that samples reach programmed temperatures quickly, without any overshoot or lagging. Powerful Peltier units provide ramping rates as fast as 5°C/second.

Hotplate Stirrers

A hotplate stirrer, also called magnetic stirrer or magnetic mixer, is a laboratory device that employs a rotating magnetic field to cause a stir bar immersed in a liquid to spin very quickly, thus stirring it. The rotating field may be created either by a rotating magnet or a set of stationary electromagnets, placed beneath the vessel with the liquid. The hot plate provides heat for the lab sample.

Hotplate stirrer models run the gamut, ranging from basic styles with analog controls to fully digital advanced and professional styles with microprocessor controls. With ceramic and aluminum plates, in sizes ranging from 4” x 4” to 10” x 10”, as well as a hotplate and magnetic stirrer combo, Next Day Science has a hotplate stirrer for any application. Here are some examples of the hotplate stirrers available at Next Day Science:

Advanced Top Hotplate Stirrer

Talboys Advanced hotplates, stirrers and hotplate-stirrers deliver accurate and repeatable results. These units are microprocessor-controlled and have an LED display for temperature. The control panel features easy-to-use controls which allow users to dial in adjustments. Rear housing features an integral support rod holder with locking knob to accept the optional support rod and clamp kit.

Benchmark Hotplate/Stirrer

Benchmark hotplates, stirrers and hotplate-stirrers feature an exceptionally durable, chemical-resistant, white ceramic work surface. Their space-efficient design (8” x 9” footprint), makes them ideal for use on crowded benchtops and inside of bio-hoods. Advanced microprocessor controls with convenient turn knobs allow quick, precise adjustment and maintenance of speed and temperature. Safety indicator LEDs on the front panel indicate when the heating and/or stirring functions have been activated.

For more high quality thermocyclers and hotplate stirrers that will stand up to extensive lab use, visit the Next Day Science thermocycler and hotplate stirrer web pages.