Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Learning DNA Ladders

Do you need 25x TAE tank buffer?

Get ready to uncover the secrets of DNA with Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Learning DNA Ladders! Run mixtures of fragments of different sizes and compare them to a DNA ladder. It's a hands-on way to visualize and understand the sizes of DNA fragments.

With this kit, you will run a mixture of fragments of various sizes and a DNA Ladder in a gel so that you can identify the fragment sizes. We recommend this kit as a follow-up to the Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Natural vs Synthetic Dyes and the Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Draw with DNA.  Once you have successfully undertaken a DNA gel electrophoresis experiment that resulted in some DNA Gel Art, you will move onto the type of experiment professional scientists might use in a lab to learn more about DNA: Using a DNA Ladder to estimate the size of experimental DNA fragments. 

Infact, the method you’re about to undertake is used in disciplines such as forensics to analyze DNA fingerprints that are generated using polymerase chain reaction of crime scene DNA. Quite often it is used in genetic engineering experiments to assess the size of DNA fragments that one wants to insert into other pieces of DNA - something you’ll experience in the coming DNA Technology experiments.

From a hands-on skills standpoint, you will:

  1. Practice casting an agarose gel
  2. Practice loading DNA into gel wells
  3. You will add a DNA ladder into a gel well
  4. Practice running the gel
What will you learn?

• Create an agarose gel
• learn what a % w/v measurements is
• create molten agarose gel with fluorescent probe
• create the gel cast
• pour the gel
• insert the comb
• allow to solidify

• Add DNA to the wells
• Add a Ladder to a well
• Mix DNA parts with loading buffer
• Run a gel
• Visualize the gel
• Analyze your results

From a conceptual standpoint, you’re going to:
• Learn what a “1Kb ladder” is and how it is used to estimate your DNA fragment sizes
• Learn that there are different kinds of ladders and they are different by the supplier and you can choose certain ladders to more accurately analyze your DNA fragments.
• Learn that an agarose gel, while it looks clear, is a tight mesh of carbohydrate molecules that can be used to separate other molecules or gain insights into the physical properties of molecules or mixtures.
• Learn that you can apply a voltage across your electrophoresis tank, with a positive charge at one end and a negative charge at the other.
• Learn that negatively charged molecules will get pulled through the agarose gel toward the positive electrode.

What's included?

All the tubes, DNA and buffers you need to complete the exercise 4 times

What else is needed?

To complete this experiment, you will also need:

• Gel electrophoresis equipment:
• power supply with a voltage of ~50-100 V
• electrophoresis tank with wires that connect to the
• power supply
• gel casts
• well combs (6+ tooth comb)
• Access to a microwave
• Blacklight flashlight, transilluminator, or blacklight lightbox
• 4 L Distilled water from store (recommended buy a 4L / 1-gallon jug for general lab use)
• Pipette and tips:
• a micropipette with a 0.5 uL to 10 uL range or similar (you will need to pipette liquids in increments of 2 uL)
• 1 box of tips that fits your micropipette.

Cleaning and safety supplies are not included in the kit. Necessary safety and cleaning supplies are latex or nitrile gloves, and a chlorinated bleach cleaner or a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach in a spray bottle (you can make this by adding 9 parts water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). You can add a Mini Safety Set to your kit which includes gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect your clothes.

For more information about safety, set up and clean up, you can have a look at the instruction manual for the experiment linked in the Ressources section below, and at the "Practicing safe science" page.

Storage & Shipping

Shipping Times

Experiment kits are shipped 1-10 working days after you place your order. If you require yours for a specific date or event, please contact us before or with your order # so that we can try to make it happen for you! ☺︎ 


Upon arrival place this kit in a refrigerator and the Freezer bag in the freezer

For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us

Your kit's resources