I am running gel electrophoresis through a straw. I hope to show that this is faster and more convenient than regular gel electrophoresis. But first — does it work?
My first experiments have been a success – electrophoresis works through a straw.
To the left you can see my most recent results. These 3 straws were filled with agar gel, placed in a gel box full of buffer, and run in parallel. From the top, green, red, blue. As expected, the dyes separate into pure colors.
I’ll be adding a protocol to OpenWetWare in the next week.
Let me know what you think!
Run 1: The band of blue dye in my first run moved only about half an inch. The full length of the straw was diagonally, to fit in the gel box.
Run 2: I ran 2 shorter straws of green dye, in parallel. These straws are about 3 inches long, the same length of a traditional gel. One of the straws separated nicely – the green dye became blue and yellow. The other gel did not separate at all. This is unexpected, but I’m glad to see that under some situations, food coloring will migrate through a straw gel. In regards to speed, I think my 9v batteries are dying. That said, a regular gel took me 2 hrs to run last week on these batteries, whereas this run was only 1 hr.
Run 3: A lot of dye leaks out of the ends of the straws.I poked little holes about half an inch from the end of the straw and put the dye in there instead. Worked a lot better, though my buffer was still colored at the end of the run.