CARLSBAD, Calif., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announces the QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System, a scalable, chip-based instrument that is democratizing this technology for a rapidly growing market. Featuring a simple workflow with minimal hands-on time, the benchtop platform is disruptively priced at $30,000 -- enabling access to a broader community. The system is currently with early access customers and commercial shipments will begin in the first half of 2013. Designed with a scalable architecture, the QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System's first generation chips enable up to 20,000 data points in a single run -- coverage that satisfies the needs for most digital PCR applications today. The capacity of future chips will increase exponentially to meet increasing demands of the research community. The new platform is the latest addition to a growing line of QuantStudio™ digital qPCR instruments from Life Technologies. It complements the QuantStudio™ 12K Flex Real-Time PCR System, which the company launched earlier this year and provides the highest throughput capability for digital PCR on the market. Considered until recently a niche segment, the digital PCR market is expected to grow to nearly $250 million globally by 2016. Researchers worldwide use real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to amplify and quantify nucleic acids. Digital PCR takes researchers beyond the limits of real-time PCR for applications that require absolute quantitation of targeted DNA molecules. Additionally, Life's simple workflow and chip-based platform reduce the risk of sample contamination and loss of DNA normally associated with droplet-based systems. The technology is ideal for accurately detecting rare mutations important in cancer or infectious diseases – the equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack. It is also increasingly used as a mechanism to perform quality control experiments on next generation sequencing libraries. "The QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System is the latest revolutionary platform from the team that has delivered every market-leading technology in qPCR," says Chris Linthwaite, Head of Genetic Analysis, Life Technologies. "By making this novel platform accessible to all labs, we are enabling the democratization of digital PCR and helping the scientific community expand the utilization of this technology in disease research and applications beyond." Prior to commercial launch, Life Technologies is making the QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System available to early access users through the Digital PCR Applications Grant Program, which will fund 20 research projects that demonstrate innovative applications for the instrument. Five grand prize winners chosen among the winning proposals will receive a QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System. For details on submitting a proposal, visit www.lifetechnologies.com/dpcrgrant. Life Technologies will host presentations and a poster session from early access users of the system on Nov. 8 at the American Society of Human Genetics conference (ASHG). For more information on these talks, visit Life's ASHG website. The system will be officially unveiled during Explore Art and Science with Life Technologies, a customer event that will showcase the company's latest solutions from the Ion Torrent and Genetic Analysis divisions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Nov. 7 from 7-10:30 p.m. For invitations to the event or for more information, visit the Life Technologies booth (# 601) during ASGH. The QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System is For Research Use Only, not intended for diagnostic purposes.