Separating Charged Molecules For Identifying A Wide Range Of Data Fields

725 WordsSep 9, 20143 Pages
Cassandra Maddux CHE 451L-02 August 26, 2014 Electrophoresis Introduction Separating charged molecules is an important practice in Biochemistry for identifying a wide range of data fields. Separating molecules allows for information like size, binding affinity, and charge to be obtained.5 One technique that is used to separate charge molecules is gel electrophoresis. This technique forces the suspended charged molecules through a porous gel matrix by use of an electrical current that separates the molecules according to their physical properties, such as charge, size.1,2,3 It was first observed by Ferdinand Frederic Reuss in 1807. He observed that when an electrical current was applied, clay molecules in water would begin to migrate.6 Samples are placed in wells on the gel. A buffer is added, commonly salt water, to act as a conduit for the electrical current. As the electric current is applied, the samples begin to move through the gel depending on the contained molecule’s properties; positively charged particles will move towards the cathode and negatively charged particles will move to the anode.2 Compounds with greater charge or low mass will move through the gel matrix quicker and further. As the samples move, they create lanes of bands that can then be compared to a standard, also known at a ladder. The thickness of each band is indicates quantity of each compound contained in the sample. The height of each band shows the size of each molecule in the sample.4
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