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Electrophoresis


            Electrophoresis is the process by which charged particles suspended in a solution may be separated through the application of an electric current. Electrophoresis was developed by Arne Tiselius. The process is used in medicine and biochemistry (science concerned with the organic and physical chemistry) to separate, identify, and measure the amount of various proteins. Electrophoresis is an analytical method frequently used in molecular biology (study of life processes) and medicine. It is applied for the separation and characterization of proteins, nucleic acids, and sub cellular-sized particles like viruses (parasite with a noncellular structure composed of mainly nucleic acid within a protein coat) and small organelles. Nucleic acid is an organic substance that plays a role in the storage and replication of hereditary information. Electrophoresis" principle is that the charged particles of a sample migrate in an applied electrical field. In conducted in solution (homogeneous mixture of two or more substances), samples are separated according to their surface net charge density (ratio of mass of a substance to its volume). The most frequent applications, however, use gels (polyacryamide, agarose) as a support medium. Proteins electrophoresis is often performed in the presence of a charged detergent like sodium dodecyl sulfate, which usually equalizes the surface charge and, therefore, allows for the determination of protein sizes on a single gel. .
             Electrophoresis is widely used to identify and measure the albumin, globulin, and fibrinogen fractions present in the blood. Albumin is a heat coagulating (clotting) protein, globulin is spherical proteins, and fibrinogen is a protein that causes plasma to gel. A large variety of instruments using this general principle are available. In research and industry, a technique called curtain electrophoresis is used in which the test solution flows down the edge of a horizontal covering.


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