Electrophoresis is a common lab technique used to identify, quantify, and purify nucleic acid fragments. Samples are loaded into wells of an agarose or acrylamide gel and subjected to an electric field, causing the negatively charged nucleic acids to move toward the positive electrode. Shorter DNA fragments will travel more rapidly, whereas the longest fragments will remain closest to the origin of the gel, resulting in separation based on size.
Agarose remains the most widely used gel matrix for separating nucleic acid fragments because it is nontoxic, easy to use, and offers a broad separation range. Varying the agarose concentration controls the gel pore size, facilitating the separation of a wide range of nucleic acid molecule sizes. The migration of nucleic acids in agarose gels is also affected by the choice of buffer and applied voltage. Life Technologies offers convenient reagents for agarose gel electrophoresis including hassle-free, precast E-Gel® agarose gels and UltraPure™ reagents for pouring your own agarose gels.
Polyacrylamide is a cross-linked polymer that provides very high resolution of DNA molecules in the 10–3,000 bp size range. Under the appropriate conditions, DNA molecules differing in size by a single base pair can be resolved. Life Technologies offers convenient reagents for polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, including hassle-free pre-cast Novex® TBE gels and UltraPure™ reagents.
Life Technologies offers a broad selection of DNA ladders and markers ranging from 10 bp to 50 kb for accurate analysis of linear double-stranded DNA in agarose gels. A variety of these ladders is available in the ready-to-use TrackIt™ and E-Gel® formats, including the 1 Kb DNA Ladder and the 100 bp DNA Ladder.
Many DNA stains are available from Life Technologies, including SYBR® Safe DNA gel stain and ethidium bromide. SYBR® Safe DNA gel stain offers detection sensitivity similar to that of ethidium bromide, but with much reduced toxicity and mutagenicity.
Life Technologies offers a variety of gel loading buffers for easy loading and tracking of DNA samples including the BlueJuice™ Gel Loading Buffer and TrackIt™ loading buffers. Our gel loading buffers include one or two tracking dyes (bromophenol blue, xylene cyanol FF, orange G, tartrazine) to monitor the progress of electrophoresis by migration of the dye.
The electrophoretic mobility of DNA molecules depends on the applied voltage and the buffer composition. Life Technologies offers a selection of UltraPure™ buffers and reagents to meet your DNA electrophoresis needs, including 10X TBE solution and 10X TAE buffer. UltraPure™ products are made from the highest purity biochemicals for maximum reliability and superior performance.