A real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real-Time PCR), also known as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), is a laboratory technique of molecular biology based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It monitors the amplification of a targeted DNA molecule during the PCR, i.e. in real-time, and not at its end, as in conventional PCR. Real-time PCR can be used quantitatively (quantitative real-time PCR), and semi-quantitatively, i.e. above/below a certain amount of DNA molecules (semi quantitative real-time PCR). 

        Two common methods for the detection of PCR products in real-time PCR are: (1) non-specific fluorescent dyes that intercalate with any double-stranded DNA, and (2) sequence-specific DNA probes consisting of oligonucleotides that are labelled with a fluorescent reporter which permits detection only after hybridization of the probe with its complementary sequence.