Gel electrophoresis, at its most basic components, is a polymer matrix and electricity used to separate molecules by size, shape, and charge. Its a common lab technique and an extremely useful one. For our DIY Electrophoresis system, we used:
- 5 - 9V batteries ($1 a piece at FamilyTree)
- 2 - Leads with alligator clips ($7 for 10)
- Silver wire or 2 paper clips (took from the office)
- Square petri dish or small rectangular container (forever borrowed from kitchen)
- <1g - Food-grade agar-agar powder ($7 for much more than you'll need)
- Tape (took from office)
- 2 - Popsicle sticks: thin and "normal" ($4+$7)
- Baking soda (<$1 a box!)
Amazingly, it worked like a charm (if the charm was a dependable electrophoresis system)! So, we invited science-lovers from our MeetUp to take part in a workshop where they made their own DIY electrophoresis systems and used it to separate the dyes found on Skittles.
Thanks to everyone that was able to join us!