Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

Are You in the Market for an Electrophoresis System?

Electrophoresis relies on a basic process — particles moving in an electric field.

by Lab Manager

Electrophoresis relies on a basic process — particles moving in an electric field. Known for more than 200 years, this phenomenon still drives fundamental techniques in many labs and its long history plays a role in the widespread use of the technology. Current interest lies in making the technology, faster, more accurate and more sensitive.

9 Questions You Should Ask When Buying Electrophoresis Equipment and Gels

  1. How many gels per experiment can you run at once in a single electrophoresis cell?
  2. Can you run hand cast and precast gels with the same electrophoresis equipment?
  3. Can you blot in the same tank as you run the gels?
  4. How fast can you run a set of gels with optimal performance?
  5. How fast can you visualize your proteins in the gel?
  6. Do you need any special buffers or sample buffer to run your gel?
  7. Does a precast gel give you the same separation as a hand cast gel?
  8. How fast can you transfer proteins from your gel to a membrane?
  9. How efficiently can you transfer your high MW proteins from your gel to a membrane?


Top ten factors/features considered by our readers when buying an electrophoresis system:
Ease of use 100%
Availability of supplies and accessories 99%
Durability of product 99%
Low operating costs 98%
Fast time to results 97%
Low maintenance/easy to clean 97%
Integrated software lets you control the instrument 97%
Footprint/size 95%
Safety and health features 94%
Price 94%


The main application for electrophoresis use in our readers’ facilities:
Protein Gel Electrophoresis 33%
Western Blotting 24%
Nucleic Acid Gel Electrophoresis & Blotting 14%
DNA & Genome Sequence Analysis 9%
Capillary Electrophoresis Sequencing & Fragment Analysis 8%
Genotyping & Genomic Profiling 4%
Protein Sample Preparation & Protein Purification 4%
Other 5%


The main issues with electrophoresis products being experienced by users:
Time to results (not quick enough) 39%
Inconsistency in gels 31%
Shelf life is too short for gels 24%
Dangers in handling toxic chemicals to make gels 19%
Buffers heating up too much 15%
Not enough control options in the electrophoresis system 11%
Other 7%


Electrophoresis components being used in our readers’ labs:
Electrophoresis gel apparatus 94%
Reagents: gel staining chemicals, premade gels,
gel chemicals, buffers, etc.
General lab equipment: pH meter, pipettors,
scale, stir plates, etc.
Power supply 85%
Digital camera/gel documentation systems 72%
White light/UV light box 58%
Cooling apparatus 18%
Other 4%


Respondents are using or planning to use the following gel types:
Acrylamide 43%
Agarose 40%
IEF 5%
Cellulose acetate 5%
Other 8%

Completed Surveys: 250

For more information on electrophoresis systems, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit