Molecular Genetics Instruments

Thermocyclers - Realtime PCR instruments Liquid Handling Robots Viaflo96 - Licor Odyssey- Qubit
 - BioRad Geldoc System - Vilber_Fusion - ClarioStar - Digital PCR Quantstudio 3D



Our Instruments

Please have a look at our Document and Links webpage we have almost all software and instrument manuals for a quick download and often a link to the analysis software.


ThermocyclersWe have a range of Thermocyclers in the 96 and 384 well format both gradient and non-gradient. From Applied Biosystems we have two Veritech instruments (modern version of the 9700 Geneamps), one 384 well the other 96 well format with linear gradient.


Realtime PCR instruments

Realtime PCR Instrument ChartsAll our real-time instruments have 384 well blocks (we have also one Lightcycler with a 96 well block) and can be booked via the Garvan booking system.

There are two LightCycler 480s (Roche), one ABI PRISM 7900 HTs (ABI), one Quantstudio 7 (ABI) and one Biorad C1000 available

Each instrument is charged $50 per two hour slot of usage.


Watch our General Realtime PCR Introduction training video


LightCycler 480 Technology

PCR specificity and yield are directly related to the ability of the thermal-cycling system to rapidly and accurately arrive at and maintain reaction temperatures. To achieve the superior performance in 384 and 96 well format, a new type of thermal block cycler was integrated into the LichtCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System. Heating and cooling is achieved using Peltier elements.

Additionally, the novel thermal block cycler incorporates Therma-Base technology for optimal heat transfer and distribution to all samples on a multiwell plate (see Figure below). The Therma-Base unit, located beneath the Peltier elements, ensures optimal heat distribution across the plate and, as a consequence, optimized well-to-well homogeneity as well as maximized inter-well assay reproducibility. The cooling element below the Therma-Base unit features a maximized inner surface area to facilitate rapid heat absorption.

LightCycler 480 Technology

Figure 1. LightCycler 480  thermal block  (left) and cross-section showing the integration of the Therma-Base (right).

The Therma-Base is based on evaporation and condensation of a working fluid in a thin vacuum chamber enabling rapid heat distribution and temperature equilibration.


LightCycler 480 System II

The LightCycler 480 System I instrument can be booked 24/7 for high throughput realtime analysis ("GMG_LC480_384" on the Garvan booking system), the instrument is housed in room 9.01 on level 9 of the Garvan building. 

The LightCycler 480 System II instrument can be booked 24/7 for low throughput realtime analysis ("GMG_LC480_96" on the Garvan booking system), the instrument is housed in room 9.01 on level 9 of the Garvan building. 

The software to analyse your data will work only on a PC and can be downloaded from the Pandora server via:

  • \\Pandora\Volumes\Software\Windows\GMG_Software\LightCycler480 \LightCycler480_Software_Setup.exe

There is an additonal word document that contains the password and installation instructions under:

  • \\Pandora\Volumes\Software\Windows\GMG_Software\Password_info.doc 

Watch our LightCycler 480 training video




QuantStudio 7

The latest acquisition for realtime PCR is the QuantStudio 7 which can be booked 24/7 on the Garvan booking system. This instrument is designed for high throughput realtime analysis ("GMG_QuantStudio7"). The instrument is located in the Garvan Molecular Genetics facility on level 9 of the Garvan building in room 9.01.Quantstudio7

The software to analyse your data will work only on a PC and can be downloaded from the internet, please click on the link: 

Watch our QuantStudio 7 training video

Watch the Thermofisher Analysis video


Biorad C1000

Biorad C1000The Biorad C1000 is the latest acquisition in the Garvan Molecular Genetics facility, its light source is LEDs hence it is small in size compared to the older instruments. The instrument can be found in room 8.01 in the Garvan building. Booking on the Garvan booking system under "GMG_BioradC1000", the instrument charge is $50 per run.

Features and Benefits

  • Quick and easy protocol programming — 2 programming options, including the Protocol Autowriter, which automatically generates customized standard, fast, and ultrafast protocols
  • Easy protocol editing — the large color touch screen and redesigned navigation make editing and running protocols easy
  • Flexible platform — change throughput capability by linking up to 3 additional S1000™ thermal cyclers or adding PC control for up to 32 cyclers
  • Advanced file management — USB flash drive compatibility allows universal protocol transfer and unlimited data storage
  • Thermal gradient — quickly and easily identify optimal annealing temperatures by using the programmable temperature gradient

Watch our Biorad CFX384  training video



Quantstudio 3D Digital PCR 

The latest acquisition for digital PCR is the QuantStudio 3 which can be booked 24/7 on the Garvan booking system("GMG_QuantStudio3D").  The instrument is designed for absolute quantification, Copy Number Variance (CNV) and Next Gen Sequencing library quantification.  You can run Taqman assays with this instrument or you can use SYBRgreen based assays. The instruments is located in the Garvan Molecular Genetics facility on level 9 of the Garvan building in room 9.01. All reagents including chips for performing digital PCR can be purchased through the facility (please have a look in our Garvan Molecular Genetics Shop). 

The software to analyse your data will work on a PC and Mac and is cloud based, please click on the link: 

Please have a look at our Document and Links webpage for further links to manuals and helpful documents.3D digital PCR

Watch our QuantStudio 3D training video


 The Quantstudio 3 can be used for precisely quantifying NGS library preps. There are 3 different Taqman assays (part number 4331182) which are used for the different Illumina NGS kits:

More information on using Digital PCR to quantify NGS libraries:


Liquid Handling Robots

There are three liquid handlers for PCR setup at Garvan Molecular Genetics. The PCR setup instruments are EPmotions, two 5070s with 4 deck positions and one 5075 with 12 deck positions. (Please find a manual and a programming SOP for the EPmotion robots here).

The ease of programming pipetting steps with the ep-blue software of these instruments in particular has led to their predominant usage in research laboratories in Europe and Australia. The operator can drag and drop with some mouse clicks very intuitively where from (source) and where to (destination) so that high throughput 384 well pipetting is made easy and fast.

Additionally, the EPmotions operate with pipetting tools that are identical to hand-held pipettes therefore adding accuracy to the precision of the automation. These are some screen shots from the ep-blue software illustrating the simplicity of the process:

Liquid Handling Robots Graphic


5070 EPmotion 15070 EPmotion 2There are two 5070 EPmotions, one for the cancer research groups and one for all other research groups. The instruments can be booked on Garvan's booking system under "GMG_EPmotion_Cancer" and "GMG_EPmotion_All Groups". There is a charge of $30 per 384plate setup (approx 2h).



We have also a large PCR setup robot which has 16 deck positions and is mainly used for mouse genotyping PCR setup but we can setup qPCRs for large scale projects too, you would submit samples and pay a per PCR plate well price, come and talk to us.

Watch our EPmotions training video  



ABI 3130XL sequencer3500The Sequencing Service Coordinator maintains and operates the sequencing instruments in the facility, the ABI 3130XL and ABI 3500 sequencers, which have 16 and 24 capillaries and processes ~ 30,000 samples/year. We operate 50cm arrays giving up to 1000 bases read length in 2.5h.



BioRad Geldoc System

rrr.JPGFor DNA analysis the facility houses the Biorad Geldoc system with the capacity to document and export to JPG-format protein, DNA and RNA gels. There is are "How to do"- Instructions attached to the side of the instrument for quick setup. For all non-ordinary questions facility staff will kindly assist you. For operation of the Geldoc system you are required to wear gloves for safety reasons as the area is potentially contaminated with Ethidium Bromide. Find the operation Instructions for the BioRad Geldoc System for download on our Document and Links webpage. The software for analysing your images can be downloaded from our server please see our Document and Links webpage. There are also alternatives for Ethidium Bromide as intercalating dye which you can find in our Molecular Genetics shop


Qubit RNA and DNA quantification

QubitFor DNA and RNA quantification the facility houses a Qubit fluorometer. We also sell the DNA Broad Range, DNA High Sensitivity and RNA High Sensitivity kit reagents (you pay per samples measured). Please  have a look on our Molecular Genetics shop webpage for prices and download the manual from our Document and Links webpage.The system is located on level 9 of Garvan room 9.01 and does not require booking. 

Watch our Qubit Fluorometer training video



The Nanodrop can be used to roughly estimate the concentration and purity of nucleic acid. The facility offers a service for concentration measurement of samples via our service module or you can determine the concentration of your samples yourself with a Nanodrop for all users in TKCC level 9. 

Watch our Nanodrop Liquid Handler training video



Viaflo 96 semi automated liquid handler

Viaflo96The Viaflo96 semi automated pipetting aid enables liquid transfers in the range of 1ul to 125ul in the 96well format. This liquid handler can be programmed like a robot and will perform transfer steps from 96 and 384well plates to 96 and 384 well plates. It operates in the same way the Viaflo single and multichannel electric pipettes are operated.

The instrument is used for our Sequencing Service but can also be booked on the Garvan booking system as "GMG_96Viaflo" outside peak hours. The instrument is located in room 8.01 (Garvan).


Vilber Lourmat Fusion FX7Vilber Fusion FX7

The Fusion FX7 has the same or better sensitivity than conventional chemi-luminescence detection systems (films), it comes with the following specs:

  • 7 excitations channels options in the IR, NIR, visible RGB and UV area
  • 10 Spectra narrow band filters available from 440 to 850nm
  • 2,048 x 2,048 pixels resolution,16-bit (65,536 grey levels) with integration time
  • Fixed focal length motorized lens (f. = 0.84) with Autofocus
  • Motorized 6-position Filter slide with F-590 filter  
  • Darkroom with white-light epi-illumination and 20.M UV table

Please click here for more information like protein ladders that show up in the chemi-luminescence blot. Please click here for the manual of the instrument. The Fusion Fx7 is located on level 8 of TKCC in the grey room. The instrument is called  "FusionFx7" on Garvan's booking system, the booking slots are 30min, you need to cool the camera down first which will take 5min. You can take your images on the Fusion Fx7 as is explained in the training video and analyze them at your desk with a free software which you can download via the following link (both Mac/PC):  image_studio_lite_software. 

Training is provided provided through our Fusion Fx7 training video 


Li-Cor Odyssey

The Li-Cor Odyssey was purchased to address all Western blot documentation needs. Antibodies and Blocking buffer are sold in Garvan Molecular Genetics Shop. The following membranes are suitable/compatible for western blots on the Odyssey system:

  • PVDF-FL (Immobilon-FL)  
  • all brands of NitrocelluloseLicor Odyssey

Please note: Standard PVDF (immobilon-P) is not compatible with the Odyssey system. You can take your images on the Odyssey system and analyze them at your desk with a free software which you can download via the following link (both Mac/PC):  image_studio_lite_software. There are useful pdf documents about the Infrared dye, quick setup and troubleshooting in our Documents and Links site. The system is located on level 8 of TKCC in the grey room and does not require booking. The Li-Cor Odyssey is located on level 8 of TKCC in the grey room. The instrument is called  "Licor Odyssey Clx Asset 8547" on Garvan's booking system.

Training is provided through our Li-Cor Odyssey training video



The The CLARIOstar is a multifunctional microplate reader capable of performing a wide array of applications for fluorescence ClarioStarintensity, fluorescence polarization, time-resolved fluorescence, TR-FRET (e.g. HTRF®), luminescence, AlphaScreen®, and full spectrum absorbance.


  • Spectral Range: 340 - 740 nm (selectable increments of 0.1 nm)
  • High-energy xenon flash lamp
  • Dedicated Laser for AlphaScreen® / AlphaLISA®
  • 6- to 1536-well plates, LVis Plate with 16 microspots (2 μL)
  • Fluorescence Intensity - including FRET
  • Luminescence (flash and glow) - including BRET
  • UV/Vis Absorbance
  • Fluorescence Polarization / Anisotropy
  • Time-Resolved Fluorescence - including TR-FRET
  • AlphaScreen® / AlphaLISA®


The analysis software and operation manual can be found on our webpage Documents and Links site. The system is located on level 8 of TKCC. The instrument is called  "ClarioStar" on Garvan's booking system.

Training is provided through our ClarioStar training video