Design and development of polymerase chain reaction thermal cycler using proportional-integral temperature controller


  • Chong Kim Soon Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Nawoor Anusha Devi University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
  • Kok Beng Gan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Sue-Mian Then University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus



Polymerase Chain Reaction, Proportional-Integral Controller, Thermal Cycler


A thermal cycler is used to amplify segments of DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It is an instrument that requires precise temperature control and rapid temperature changes for certain experimental protocols. However, the commercial thermal cyclers are still bulky, expensive and limited for laboratory use only.  As such it is difficult for on-site molecular screening and diagnostics. In this work, a portable and low cost thermal cycler was designed and developed. The thermal cycler block was designed to fit six microcentrifuge tubes. A Proportional-Integral temperature controller was used to control the thermal cycler block temperature. The results showed that the maximum temperature ramp rate of the developed thermal cycler was 5.5 °C/s. The proportional gain (Kp) and integral gain (Ki) of the PI controller were 15 A/V and 1.8 A/Vs respectively. Finally, the developed thermal cycler successfully amplified six DNA samples at the expected molecular weight of 150 base pair. It has been validated using the Eppendorf Mastercycler nexus gradient system and gel electrophoresis analysis

Author Biographies

Nawoor Anusha Devi, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

School of Biomedical Science Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Kok Beng Gan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Centre for Advanced Electronics & Communication Engineering (PAKET), Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Sue-Mian Then, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

School of Biomedical Science Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


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