About OpenPCR

OpenPCR is a project to develop open source hardware, software, and protocols to perform PCR and Real-Time PCR reactions, and a community dedicated to openness in science and applying the fundamental technologies of PCR to global problems

We aim to make the fundamental technologies of PCR and Real-Time PCR universally accessible, without exorbitant costs or intellectual property issues, and to apply this fundamental technology to challenging global issues, such as point-of-care medical diagnostics in developing countries and ensuring the safety of the world’s food supplies. We envision a world where molecular diagnostics are routinely used by all and do not require specialized knowledge.

At its core, PCR is a method of detecting the presence of a particular DNA sequence. This is useful in myriad applications, such as determining whether an individual is infected with HIV or Malaria, or whether leafy vegetables are contaminated with E. Coli or Listeria. Unfortunately traditional Real-Time PCR Machines capable of detecting these pathogens typically cost upwards of $30,000 US dollars and are not suitable for field usage.

OpenPCR kits are currently manufactured and distributed by Chai, a company founded to democratize access to molecular diagnostics. The OpenPCR may also be fabricated directly by end users from design documents downloadable from this website.

Accessible hardware is only half the battle. In addition to providing low-cost machines, we aim to openly share the knowledge needed to make use of these machines, such as PCR protocols and assays, within the community. We believe you shouldn’t have to be a molecular biologist to put the well understood techniques of PCR to work for you, no matter your application or research.