The enzymological principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and of the quantitative competitive PCR (QC-PCR) are discussed, proposing a theoretical framework that will facilitate quantitation in experimental methodologies. Expressions for the efficiency of the PCR and QC-PCR are also derived that enable a complete description of their cycle dependence.
**Cite this paper as:** Schnell S and Mendoza C (1996). A quantitative description of the competitive polymerase chain reaction. In: Cerrolaza M, Jugo D and Brebbia CA (eds) Simulation Modelling in Bioengineering. Computational Mechanics Publications, Wessex Institute of Technology, Southampton, UK, pp 13-22.