Theoretical description of the polymerase chain reaction

Abstract

Taking into account expressions for the efficiency of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) recently deduced from enzymological considerations, and making use of a continuous model based on the law of mass action, closed form solutions are derived that enable a complete description of the standard and quantitative competitive PCR methods. The resulting behaviour is in reasonable agreement with that from a previous, empirical, discrete approach; but the latter is nonetheless shown to overestimate the amplification yield by as much as 30% due to the weak assumption of a constant efficiency during the cycle duration. The present formalism will facilitate the implementation of accurate fitting procedures of experimental data to manage quantification. (C) 1997 Academic Press Limited.

Publication
JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY 188, 313-318