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Gel electrophoresis is used to separate biological macromolecules. When an electric current is applied to these molecules in a gel matrix they can be separated based on their sizes and net charges. Proteins are typically separated with polyacrylamide as the gel matrix. Separation is affected by the percentage of acrylamide in the gel. Higher acrylamide percentages produce small pores in the gel matrix and are more suitable for resolving smaller molecules. Gels for purifying large molecular weight proteins require larger pores and a lower acrylamide concentration. Electrophoresis can be performed in one or two dimensions. One dimensional electrophoresis is used for most routine protein and nucleic acid separations. Two dimensional separation of proteins is used for finger printing, and when properly constructed can be extremely accurate in resolving all of the proteins present within a cell (over 1,500 proteins). Alfa Aesar offers a complete line of high quality reagents for electrophoresis purification including sample and loading buffers, stains, and molecular weight markers.


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