Delivering precision and speed to put you above the curve

The Applied Biosystems QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System is a plate-based digital PCR (dPCR) platform powered by proprietary microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology. that enables all the necessary steps for dPCR—compartmentalizing, thermal cycling, and data acquisition—to be conducted on a single instrument. The dPCR workflow is identical to the qPCR workflow you are familiar with to improve ease of use, minimize hands on steps, and maximize consistency.

Take a virtual tour of the QuantStudio Absolute Q dPCR system ›


dPCR overcomes variability and low accuracy by eliminating the need for a standard curve. The QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System consists of just one instrument, consolidating all steps required into a single plate and transforming a multi-step multi-instrument workflow into a one-step qPCR-like workflow.

Figure1: Prepare reaction mix, load onto plate, run instrument, and analyze data


An instrument is only as good as the reagents you use with it. Learn more about our Absolute Q digital PCR master mix, specifically designed for use with the QuantStudio Absolute Q and developed for optimal multiplexing performance and digital PCR sensitivity. TaqMan real-time PCR assays have long been considered the gold standard for genetic analysis. Now, using our decades of experience, unique assay design algorithms, and wet-lab verification process, we have developed a portfolio of equally robust Absolute Q dPCR assays. And, just like our TaqMan Assays, the Absolute Q dPCR assays are backed by a performance guarantee*.

Download the QuantStudio Absolute Q product brochure ›

Single instrument. Single plate. Simple workflow.

Eliminate cumbersome and challenging sample and reagent preparation steps from your dPCR workflow. The QuantStudio Absolute Q system requires only one hands-on step that takes under five minutes to complete with minimal technical skill.

Industry leading consistency

Powered by microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology, the QuantStudio Absolute Q system and MAP16 dPCR plates enable exceptional consistency in total micro-chambers analyzed.

Minimize wasted sample volume

Leveraging MAP technology and dead-ended reagent loading, over 95% of your input sample is analyzed per reaction compared to the 25–60% of other dPCR platforms.

Fast time to answer

Avoid wasting precious time moving generating micro-chambers, moving plates, and reading samples. In under 90 minutes* reagent digitization, thermal cycling, and data collection are integrated into a single system with no manual transfer steps required.

*90-minute time includes reagent digitization, thermal cycling, and data collection. Total time may vary based on assay-specific thermal cycling requirements.

Video testimonials

Hear from QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR users:

Featured applications

Oncology liquid biopsy mutation detection

For samples with rare targets, the volume of sample analyzed is critical to detect ultra-rare events, such as detecting ctDNA for liquid biopsy applications. It is important for liquid biopsy assays to provide precise and accurate quantification of those rare variants, which typically exist among high levels of wild-type background DNA.

Absolute Q Liquid Biopsy dPCR assays are a precise, cost-effective, and rapid method for monitoring response and resistance to treatment by testing for relevant cancer-driver and therapy-resistant mutations.

Read more about Absolute Q Liquid Biopsy Digital PCR assays ›
Analyze your data with confidence using verified assays backed by a performance guarantee ›

Cell and gene therapy development

Gene and cell therapies utilize a variety of viral vectors for gene transfer, and as such absolute quantification or viral titer must be measured accurately, precisely, and consistently.

Absolute Q Viral Titer dPCR assays enable easy, accurate, absolute quantification of viral vector genomes. The assays can be run individually or multiplexed using a custom assay with your target gene of interest to measure concentration and evaluate quality for biopharma and gene therapy research.

Read more about Absolute Q Viral Titer Digital PCR assays ›
Analyze your data with confidence using verified assays backed by a performance guarantee ›

Technical resources

Sample data


Robust reagent digitization

MAP technology facilitates highly consistent digitization of over >20,000 micro-chambers per digital PCR array equating to over 99% of micro-chambers available.


Sensitive detection of rare variants

With exceptional reagent compartmentalization and reduced risk of error, which can be caused by manual workflow steps, the QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System performs rare variant detection and quantification with precision and confidence.


Multiplex up to four targets in a single reaction

This QC multiplex assay uses all four optical channels of the QuantStudio Absolute Q system to detect Target 1 (FAM), Target 2 (VIC), Target 3 (ABY), and Target 4 (CY5). This figure shows the resulting dPCR fluorescence plots generated by the QuantStudio Absolute Q Analysis Software from a single reaction on the MAP16 plate.

Services and support you can count on

Maximize system uptime, reduce repair costs and turnaround time, extend the life of your instrument, and help keep it running at peak performance with a comprehensive service plan. For the QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System, the AB Assurance service plan is the perfect fit. It helps take the guesswork out of ensuring instrument uptime, from issue prevention to quick resolution.

All parts, labor, and travel costs are included for standard repairs, and the annual planned maintenance makes it easy to stay on top of instrument care. Also, with features like SmartStart Orientation, you’ll be set up for success. Led by professional trainers, the on-site orientation provides interactive education that includes application-specific lectures, hands-on experiment preparation, instrument and software setup, and basic data analysis.  Explore our services and support solutions at thermofisher.com/instrumentservices.


Performance specifications 

Dye compatibility  See Optical Configuration for additional details. FAM, HEX, VIC, ABY, ROX, CY5, JUN   
Optical multiplexing   Four optical chanels available (five optical channel system, ROX used for reference)
Dynamic rangeFive logs  
Sensitivity1–100,000 copies 
Sample throughputUp to 16 samples per run.  MAP16 plate can be run in intervals of four (i.e., 4, 8, 12, or 16)
Micro-chambers per reaction20,480
Percentage sample analyzed95% 

System specifications 

Dimensions (unpacked)  620 mm (l) x 600 mm (w) x 540 mm (h)   24.5 (l) x 23.5 (w) x 21 .2 (h) in  
Dimensions (packaged)  826 (l) x 940 (w) x 899 (h) mm 32.5(l) x 37(w) x 35(h) in
Weight   Approx. 60 kg/132 lbs  
Connections  Power, USB 3.0 (to dedicated PC)  
Cooling mode  Forced convection  
Illumination  Rax, blue, phosphor green high-power LED  
Optical channels  Five (fixed configuration)  
Power input  100–240 Vac, 50–60Hz  
Power rating   1200–1600 W  
Rated current  12 A (110 V), 8.5 A (230 V)  
Maximum noise level  70 dB  

Dedicated computer requirements 

Operating system  Windows 10 (64-bit) or later  
Computer  Dell OptiPlex XE3 Tower  

Optical configuration 

#  Color  Excitation filter peak λ  Emission filter peak λ  Examples of compatible dyes
1  Blue  466  520  FAM  
2  Green  514  560  HEX   VIC  
3  Yellow  549  589  ABY  
4  Red  589  625  ROX
5  Dark Red  630  684  JUN   CY5
Style Sheet for Global Design System