Electrophoresis is a process for separating charged molecules based on their movement through a medium under the influence of an applied electric field. This module will introduce some of the early adaptations of electrophoresis in human identification laboratories. The next module deals with the technology used today.
In 1807, Russian scientist F. F. Reuss observed the migration of particles in an electrical field establishing the foundation for the work of the Swedish chemist Arne Wilhelm Tiselius. In 1930, Tiselius introduced a method for separating proteins in suspension using electric currents, which was termed electrophoresis. He was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work.01, 02, 03 Today, electrophoresis has many applications for separation of the components of mixtures and is the method of choice for amplified DNA product separations.
Upon successful completion of this unit of instruction, the student shall be able to:
- Explain the process of electrophoresis.
- Identify the components for successful separation of amplified DNA products.
- Compare and contrast the methods of agarose gel and polyacrylamide electrophoresis.
- Describe the methods used to detect amplified DNA products separated using different types of stab gel electrophoresis apparatus.
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