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 An Introduction To Gel Documentation 

Electrophoresis is an extremely common technique in molecular biology, used routinely to analyse DNA preparations in order to check quantity, size, structure and constitution of prepared samples. After separation on a gel (usually agarose), DNA is normally visualised under UV light after treatment with a fluorescent stain such as ethidium bromide. Electrophoresis is also used to study similar properties in protein samples though in this case, visualisation is normally under visible light after treatment with visible stains such as Coomassie or silver.

Whatever the sample or method of visualisation, it is often required or at least desirable to keep a record of the analysis for future reference and/or analysis. This can be achieved with instant photography to produce a “hard copy” print of the illuminated gel and its visible bands.  However, this method has been increasingly superseded by video documentation, which has two clear advantages:

  • Unlike with instant photography, a live video preview of the gel image can be seen prior to image “capture”.

 

  • The captured image can be saved as a computer file, which can be easily archived, printed when necessary and analysed, using suitable software.

 

In these days of routine, high throughput, analysis of DNA in particular, both of the above are enormously important to the efficiency of many research and analytical laboratories. The design of a gel documentation system should reflect not only the type of user and application, but also the number of users and the environment in which it is situated.

 

UVItech Gel Documentation Systems

Labnet  Gel Documentation Systems


 
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