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.

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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 (Figure 1).

The QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System relies on its proprietary microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology to deliver highly-accurate dPCR results. The MAP (Figure 2) has 16 dPCR reaction units, easily distinguished as opaque squares. Zooming in, each dPCR reaction unit (opaque square) is made up of 20,480 fixed array microchambers. The microchambers themselves are connected by a distribution network that is used to deliver PCR reagents. Once the reagents have been compartmentalized into the microchambers, PCR amplification then proceeds, and the number of microchambers with successful DNA amplification are counted.

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

Figure 2: Microfluidic array plate technology


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.



QuantStudio Absolute Q Software Version 6.3


The powerfully simple digital PCR workflow keeps getting better. Unlock the potential of your digital PCR experiments with the latest innovation in digital PCR software – the QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR Software Version 6.3. Crafted with the intention of enhancing productivity and helping to minimize the likelihood of user error, get started today and unlock a new level of precision in your digital PCR workflow.


Software features

Lightbulb Tips and Tricks

Improved efficiency

Faster analysis with streamlined run set-up template and pre-set thresholding

Monitor Check

Enhanced analysis features

Better interpretation of important metrics such as confidence intervals, precision, CNV calculation and integrated dilution factor calculations


Scalable support for batch and study analysis

In study mode, group up to 384 samples from multiple plates* to analyze and report results simultaneously with one-click export

Support Tools

Informative quality control tools

Better understand your results with deeper quality control insights and simple report generation

*up to 24 plates run on single or dual co-calibrated QuantStudio Absolute Q dPCR systems may be combined in study mode

Featured applications

Cell and gene therapy development

Cell and gene therapy development

Measure common viral titer backbones, custom genes of interest, or the presence of residual DNA without the use of a standard curve

Read more about Absolute Q Viral Titer Digital PCR assays ›

Oncology liquid biopsy mutation detection

Oncology research: liquid biopsy mutation detection

Improve detection of mutations and quantification of low allele fractions in challenging samples such as liquid biopsy

Read more about Absolute Q Liquid Biopsy Digital PCR assays ›

Download our eBook on the importance of biomarkers in cancer research ›

Environmental surveillance

Environmental surveillance

Accurately measure viral load and pathogens or other biomarkers in environmental samples such as wastewater

Read more about dPCR for wastewater surveillance ›


Master mix solutions for DNA and RNA applications

Absolute Q DNA dPCR Master Mix

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Absolute 1-step RT dPCR Master Mix

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Absolute Q DNA Digital PCR Master Mix (5X) for DNA applications and Absolute Q 1-step RT Digital PCR Master Mix (4X) for RNA applications were specifically designed for optimal performance on the QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System. These concentrated formulations enable maximum sample input and were developed for optimal multiplexing performance and digital PCR sensitivity.

Sample data

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

To demonstrate the type of data generated by the MAP16 plate on the QuantStudio Absolute System, we used a multiplex assay that 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 and maps of microchamber positivity generated by the QuantStudio Absolute Q Analysis software from a single reaction on the MAP16 plate.

Flexible configurations to meet your throughput and automation needs

The powerfully simple digital PCR workflow you know just got easier. Load prepared Absolute Q MAP16 digital PCR plates into plate storage racks at the beginning of your workday. Hit "start" with the latest software for the system to load, unload, and process all your dPCR experiments while you leave to focus on more important tasks. Sit at your desk and start planning your next experiments then examine your pre-analyzed digital PCR data when the runs are complete.


Video testimonials

Hear from QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR users:


Virtual product tour



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


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



Absolute Q Digital PCR System Support Center

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dPCR vs qPCR

dPCR vs qPCR

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Absolute Gene-ius dPCR podcast

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dPCR Webinars

dPCR webinars

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dPCR Education Center

dPCR Education Center

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For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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