AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between isothermal amplification and PCR?

Posted May 20, 2023


Isothermal amplification and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) are two types of nucleic amplification techniques. There are a few key differences between these two techniques. 

Isothermal amplification 

Isothermal amplification is a technique that copies nucleic acids without temperature cycles. It is carried out at constant temperature using amplification machinery. Unlike PCR, isothermal amplification does not require a thermal cycler. Instead, it exponentially amplifies target sequences using special strand-displacing DNA and specially designed primer sets. This helps it to overcome limitations inherent in PCR. 


PCR requires temperature changing cycles for amplification. A thermal cycler with rapid heating and cooling mechanisms is a mandatory requirement for the process. During PCR, DNA polymerase extends primers on a single strand of DNA.

Additional resources

Isothermal Amplification Methods for the Detection of Nucleic Acids in Microfluidic Devices

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Helixyte™ Green *20X Aqueous PCR Solution*