Gel Electrophoresis Equipment

Gel Electrophoresis Equipment

Tank assemblies and components for acrylamide, agarose, and IEF electrophoresis of proteins, nucleic acids, and peptides; includes assembly, operation, gel casting, drying, maintenance, and imaging components, replacement parts, and accessories.

Gel electrophoresis is the preferred technique for separating the components of samples that contain nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and protein macromolecules.

The procedure is performed by placing the sample(s) at one end of an electrophoresis gel in small wells or indentations. An electrical source is attached and runs for a specified timed. A buffer provides ions to help carry the current and maintain pH.

The molecules move based on electrical charge. Proteins are pre-treated with the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) to denature and coat it with a negative charge. Molecules travel at a speed inversely related to size or length, and the degree of separation (distance between the bands) depends on the gel concentration.

Separations usually include electrophoresis(also called DNA ladders or protein ladders) that contain molecules of known sizes and are used for comparison. A variety of buffers and other electrophoresis reagents are also part of the process.

Electrophoresis gels are typically agarose or polyacrylamide; each is suited to different molecules. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is usually used for proteins and smaller DNA fragments. Polyacrylamide gels form by chemical reaction and have uniform pore sizes. They can be cast by the user or purchased as ready-to-use or pre-cast gels.

Agarose gels contain natural polysaccharide polymers from seaweed and have irregular pore sizes. They work well for separating proteins larger than 200 kDa or DNA fragments from 50 to 20,000 bp. Pre-cast agarose gels are available, as are powdered agarose gels for on-site casting.

Polyacrylamide gels are typically run vertically, while agarose gels are run in a horizontal position. Vertical and horizontal electrophoresis equipment is widely available, along with a variety of casting chambers and other electrophoresis system accessories.

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