Electrophoresis – Definition, Principle, Working, Types, Applications

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Electrophoresis – Definition, Principle, Working, Types, Applications

Definition of Electrophoresis

Electrophoresis is a technique used to separate molecules by size and charge.

Electrophoresis is defined as a technique used to separate molecules by size and charge. It is often used in the laboratory for DNA sequencing, protein analysis, and other molecular biology applications.

Pros of Electrophoresis

-Separates large molecules from small ones

-Can be used for a variety of purposes

-It is easy and quick

-Does not require any expensive equipment

Cons of Electrophoresis

-Proteins are not able to move across the gel by themselves so they need help from an electric current

Principle and Working of Electrophoresis

Electrophoresis is a technique used in analytical chemistry to separate and identify the different components of a mixture. It is based on the fact that under an electric field, molecules within a liquid will move from an area of low potential to high potential.

In this technique, the molecules are first dissolved in a suitable solvent and then applied to an ion-exchange column. The column contains either charged beads or rods which have been coated with a substance that will bind one type of molecule more tightly than others. The charged beads or rods are arranged on the column so that they are at different heights and hence have different levels of electrical charge. When an electric current is applied, the particles move up or down depending on their charge and hence their mass-to-charge ratio.

The process of electrophoresis begins with the application of an electric field to a gel or slab of agarose or polyacrylamide containing DNA fragments. The DNA fragments are negatively charged because they have lost one or more phosphate groups from their backbone. The electric field causes the DNA to migrate through the gel towards the positive electrode (anode). Smaller fragments move faster than larger ones because they have less mass to overcome in order to reach the anode.

Types of Electrophoresis

There are two types of electrophoresis: gel and slab. Gel electrophoresis is used to separate large molecules such as proteins and DNA while slab electrophoresis is used for smaller molecules like amino acids and sugars.

Gel Electrophoresis

Gel Electrophoresis is a technique used to separate and identify large molecules by size and charge and to determine the size and shape of DNA, RNA, proteins, and other macromolecules.

The gel is placed between two electrodes in an electric field, which causes the different-sized molecules to migrate towards the electrode with the opposite charge.

The distance traveled depends on the size and net charge of each molecule, so they can be separated according to their weight.

The technique relies on the fact that molecules are negatively charged due to their net negative charge. This charge causes them to migrate towards the positive electrode. The type of gel electrophoresis that is used depends on what type of molecule is being analyzed. For example, DNA is separated by size in agarose gels while proteins are separated by size in polyacrylamide gels.

Agarose Gel Electrophoresis

Agarose gel electrophoresis is a technique used to separate DNA fragments by size. It is most commonly used in molecular biology to identify the presence of a particular DNA sequence within a mixture of DNA fragments. The technique relies on an electric field applied across the agarose gel matrix, which causes DNA molecules with different lengths to migrate through the gel at different rates.

The technique was invented by Dr. Maxam and Dr. Gilbert in 1977, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1980.

Pros:

– The technique can separate DNA fragments based on their size.

– It has a low cost of equipment and consumables.

– It does not require a lot of experience to use, which makes it accessible for people who are new to the field of molecular biology and biochemistry research.

– It can be done in any lab with basic facilities or equipment.

Cons:

– The technique only works on molecules that are negatively charged, which means it cannot be used for other types of molecules like proteins or RNA.

Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis

Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis is a technique used for separating proteins and nucleic acids.

It is typically used to separate proteins or nucleic acids by size, charge, or other physical properties.

Electrophoresis of Serum Proteins

Electrophoresis is a technique that separates and analyzes proteins. It is used to diagnose diseases, study protein-protein interactions, and also for the identification of proteins.

Electrophoresis is a technique that separates and analyzes proteins. It can be used to diagnose diseases, study protein-protein interactions, and also for the identification of proteins.

Proteins are found in all living cells and they play an important role in many cellular functions such as metabolism, structural support, transport of nutrients, etc. The role of each protein can be identified by analyzing its sequence or by separating the individual proteins using electrophoresis techniques.

Applications of Electrophoresis

Electrophoresis is used in the following applications:

– DNA sequencing

– Protein sequencing

– Analysis of the composition of biological cells

– Identification of microorganisms

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