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.


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.

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

Microfluidic array plate technology

The Absolute Q system’s proprietary microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology enables effortless and consistent digitization of 20,000 precisely defined microchambers. With under 5% dead volume, you will see the whole picture and minimize sample loss with every reaction.

Figure 2.

The MAP16 Digital PCR plate



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.

Key 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.

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.

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.

Technical notes

Robust digitization consistency leads to high quality absolute quantification of NGS libraries

Advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies had accelerated the discovery of actionable genomic targets. Accurate quantification of the final library products is critical to maximizing both data quality and output. Multiple studies have demonstrated that utilizing dPCR as a quantification tool for NGS libraries before sequencing helps optimize sequencing run performance, data generation, and data quality.

Improve sensitivity for rare targets by increasing total analyzed sample using digital pooling of digital PCR data

For samples with very rare targets, the volume of sample input may impact the ability to detect ultra-rare events. In this technical note, the Digital Pooling feature of the Absolute Q Analysis Software is highlighted by showcasing rare target detection of mutation allele frequencies (MAF) at 0.1% using multiple MAP16 dPCR arrays.

Experiment flexibility on the QuantStudio Absolute Q system

The unique architecture of the QuantStudio Absolute Q system and the MAP16 array allows flexibility that is not offered by any other dPCR platform. See how a single consumable can be used iteratively in order to maximize data collection without wasted materials

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 range  

Five logs  


1–100,000 copies 

Precision ±10%

Sample throughput

Up to 16 samples per run. 

MAP16 plate can be run in intervals of four (i.e., 4, 8, 12, or 16)

Micro-chambers per reaction  


Percentage sample analyzed  


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


Approx. 60 kg/132 lbs  


Power, USB 3.0 (to dedicated PC)  

Cooling mode  

Forced convection  


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  


Dell OptiPlex XE3 Tower  

Optical configuration 


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