Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Natural vs Synthetic Dyes

Do you need 25x TAE tank buffer?
About the Gel Electrophoresis Kit: Natural vs Synthetic Dyes

Discover the fascinating world of gel electrophoresis with this beginner-friendly kit. Gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of gel electrophoresis by comparing natural and synthetic dyes at the molecular level. Learn how to cast, run, and visualize agarose gels and unlock this valuable skill!

From a hands-on perspective, you’re going to: 

  1. Make molten agarose gel by mixing agarose powder with 1x TAE buffer and boiling it to dissolve the agarose powder. This will be similar to making LB agar for growing cells, except as you’ll see you don’t have to worry about it foaming over!

  2. You’ll set up your gel cast and pour your molten agarose into the cast, making sure to add the comb. You’ll let it cool and gel.

  3. You’ll disassemble your cast, carefully remove the comb, and place the gel into the electrophoresis tank.

  4. You’ll fill your electrophoresis tank with 1x TAE buffer. The buffer should be just barely over the gel. You’ll see the gel wells (created by the comb) fill with TAE buffer.

  5. You’ll practice your pipetting by loading the gel with 10 uL (microlitres) of synthetic and natural dyes. You’ll have practice in trying not to poke the tip into the gel, and rather insert the tip just into the well and dispense the dye so it gently falls to the bottom of the well (you don’t need to have the tip right at the bottom of the well).

  6. You’ll then put the lid on your electrophoresis tank, turn on your power supply, and run your gel at a voltage between 80 and 130 volts. The higher the voltage, the faster it runs. But sometimes running at a high voltage will cause your samples to blur!

  7. Take pictures of your samples and interpret the data/image. 


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 dyes to the wells
• Run a gel
• Visualize the gel
• Analyze your results (optional)

From a conceptual standpoint, you’re going to:
• 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, dyes 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

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

Your kit's resources