This technique utilizes the difference in net electrical charge carried by a molecule as a tool to differentiate and separate them from a mixture.
The term is used to describe the migration of a charged particle under the influence of an electric field.
Hence the concept of electrophoresis is primarily based on charge difference among the bimolecules. And is also influenced up to a certain extent by
size difference too. Thus all molecules move uniquely to result in unrivalled resolution.
Bimolecules like protein, nucleic acids, nucleotides, amino acids etc. possess ionisable groups and therefore at any given pH of the surrounding, exist
in solution as electrically charged species i.e. either as cation (+) or anions (-). This characteristic feature is explored in the technique of
electrophoresis to separate them.
After separation, the quality as well as quantity of the analyte can be determined by various means e.g. staining methods, densitometry etc.
When a mixture of charged particles is provided an electric field, the negatively charged particles tend to move towards anode while positively charged
particles will tend to move towards cathode. Their rate of movement is directly proportional to the net charge carried by them.
Types of electrophoresis:
On the basis of the matrix used for performing the electrophoresis, several types have been developed, viz .
- Capillary Electrophoresis
- Capillary gel electrophoresis
- Capillary zone electrophoresis
- Capillary isoelectric focusing
- Paper electrophoresis
- Gel electrophoresis
- Vertical gel electrophoresis
- Horizontal gel electrophoresis