Horizontal Electrophoresis Chamber - Cheap!

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Horizontal Electrophoresis Chamber - Cheap!

SAFETY!It must be left up to your own creativity to install the proper safety interlocks and devices as appropriate to the laws of your area.

THE most expensive part of commercially available electrophoresis chambers is the platinum used in the electrodes. Thus, if you are skilled in working Lucite or Plexiglas, you should consider making your own units, and purchasing the inexpensive terminals from RadioShack or other radio/electronic parts supply store. There are a number of substitutes for the platinum: carbon is usually the best substitute, and can be purchased from a welding supply company, or in the form of pencil lead, which is a mixture of graphite (carbon) and inert clays. A length of this pencil lead can then be attached to the jaws of an alligator clip and the other end immersed in the buffer in the electrophoresis chamber.

For Those Unskilled in Making Things out of Plastic

Before running a research gel, try all these steps first on a "practice" gel.
You can procure square plastic petri plates. All you need are bottoms of the plates. Into the plate pour your electrophoresis gel. Insert your well-comb. Here is a bacteriologist's trick you might find useful in removing any bubbles on the surface or your still-molten gel: waft a flame over the surface. Instantly the bubbles burst if they are not too small.
Once the gel has hardened, use a razor blade and remove a narrow strip of the gel from opposite ends of the plate.
Using a strong scissors, cut three or more broad slots in the sides of the plate, and twist and break away bits of the plastic to form portals at opposite ends of the plate. Be careful so as not to damage the gel
Set the gel holder on the bottom of a long glass or plastic container. (Must be of a material that will not conduct electricity.)
After you have electrophoresed your gel, hold the plate over a container of developing solution, and remove the gel from the plate by inverting it and slipping a spatula between the gel and plate. The gel will flop into the liquid.



For Those Somewhat Skilled in Making Things out of Plastic

Very simply, all you need to have are three pieces of Lucite (Plexiglas) cut to the sizes that you need. (The measurements are up to you!) Weld the sides onto the bottom piece using chloroform.

Just as you would do with a commercially manufactured device, wrap a thermally resistant lab tape around the ends of the "boat" so that you can fill it with molten gel. Pour in the gel, and position the well-comb. After the gel has hardened, carefully remove the tape and the comb.

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