Roche LightCycler LC480 real-time qPCR instrument

Overlord™ with the Harmony™ user interface offers a quick and efficient way to add automation capabilities to the Roche LightCycler® 480 for automated qPCR. Using our scara plate handler and Overlord, our industry leading automation software package, you can make far more efficient use of your LightCycler system.

The Roche LightCycler 480 qPCR instrument

In molecular biology, real-time polymerase chain reaction, also called quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR/qPCR/qrt-PCR) or kinetic polymerase chain reaction (KPCR), is a laboratory technique based on the PCR, which is used to amplify and simultaneously quantify a targeted DNA molecule. For one or more specific sequences in a DNA sample, Real Time-PCR enables both detection and quantification. The quantity can be either an absolute number of copies or a relative amount when normalized to DNA input or additional normalizing genes.The procedure follows the general principle of polymerase chain reaction; its key feature is that the amplified DNA is detected as the reaction progresses in real time. This is a new approach compared to standard PCR, where the product of the reaction is detected at its end. Two common methods for detection of products in real-time PCR are:

  1. non-specific fluorescent dyes that intercalate with any double-stranded DNA
  2. sequence-specific DNA probes consisting of oligonucleotides that are labeled with a fluorescent reporter which permits detection only after hybridization of the probe with its complementary DNA target

Frequently, real-time PCR is combined with reverse transcription to quantify messenger RNA and Non-coding RNA in cells or tissues.

Abbreviations used for real-time PCR methods vary widely and include: RTQ-PCR, Q-PCR or qPCR. Real-time reverse-transcription PCR is often denoted as: qRT-PCR, RRT-PCR, or RT-rt PCR. The acronym “RT-PCR” commonly denotes reverse-transcription PCR and not real-time PCR, but not all authors adhere to this convention.


  • using the most reliable laboratory robot on the market, the system can be run fully unattended for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • run a different Roche LightCycler 480 method for each plate that is determined by querying an external data source, such as a LIMS, with the plate barcode.
  • reformat generated real-time PCR data effortlessly into a format your existing data management system understands.
  • easily add your choice of liquid handler for preparing the PCR plate. Add a centrifuge and foil sealer if necessary or any other instrument from our list of497 supported laboratory instruments.
  • store plates in either a 4°C incubator or a room temperature stack, depending upon the required conditions for your assay.
  • run multiple LightCycler instruments with the same robot, using an “Open Access” set-up that permits multiple users to run their batch of plates simultaneously.


  • increase throughput, reduce user interaction
  • 24/7 operation of long studies
  • improve the efficiency of your organization
  • choose when you implement the automation stage of your project
  • expert support


The Roche LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System is a multiwell-plate based real-time PCR platform which is used for highly accurate qualitative and quantitative detection of nucleic acids and genotyping. The LightCycler offers enhanced throughput, compatibility with automation equipment and maximum flexibility regarding hard- and software.

Application areas