Basic introduction to electrophoresis

Introduction –

It is the analytical and separation technique of charged particles or biomolecules or compound under the influence of an electric field. It is widely used for separation of and analysis of biomolecules such as amino acids , peptides, proteins, nucleotides and nucleic acids( RNA and DNA) . An electrophoretic system consists of two electrodes of opposite poles (anode & cathode), connected by a conducting medium called an electrolyte(buffer medium).

Historical background –

This technique was first advised by Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius in 1937. He was awarded by Nobel prize in 1948 for this technique. He obtained his doctor’s degree in 1930 on a thesis “the moving boundary method of studying the electrophoresis of proteins” which was published in Nova Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis.  In 1937 , he published improved method of electrophoresis in the Transactions of the Faraday Society.

Principles of electrophoresis

Migration of charged particles or biomolecules on the gel under the influence of an electric field differentiate or separate the molecules on the basis of charge / mass ratio. Heavy molecule travel slowly as compared to lighter molecule on the gel and cause differences in distance traveled. These differences in distance travelled by biomolecules leads to the formation of different bands, when visualized under UV-light.


  • Arne Tiselius – Facts. Nobel Media AB 2019. Fri. 11 Jan 2019. <>
  • Arne Tiselius – Biographical. Nobel Media AB 2019. Fri. 11 Jan 2019. <>
  • R.J. Fritsch, I. Krause, in Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), 2003
  • Tiselius A. Trans Faraday Soc. 33 (1937) 524–531.
  • Serwer P. Agarose gels: properties and use for electrophoresis. Electrophoresis. 1983;4:375–382.
  •  Kozulic B. Models of gel electrophoresis. Anal Biochem. 1995;231:1–12.[PubMed]
  • Liu Q, Li X, Sommer SS. pK-matched running buffers for gel electrophoresis. Anal Biochem. 1999;270:112–122. [PubMed]
  •  Milan Bier (1959). Electrophoresis. Theory, Methods and Applications (3rd ed.). Academic Press. p. 225. OCLC 1175404. LCC 59-7676.
Now more

Upcoming contents