Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common technique in modern molecular biology for amplifying DNA in order to obtain sufficient DNA for qualitative and quantitative detection. Conventional PCR is an end-point analysis where the amplified DNA is detected as bands on an agarose gel, while real-time PCR detects DNA by fluorescence at each amplification cycle as it occurs (real time). This enables measurement of fluorescence in the exponential phase of amplification, where ideally there is a doubling of product for each cycle, and thus gives a more accurate quantification compared to the end-point PCR.
The real-time PCR detection system has the possibility to discriminate up to five different targets in one reaction well. The new system will increase our understanding of transcriptional events in cells and bacteria after exposure to compounds used in dental materials or to products used in dentistry.