AAT Bioquest

What are the basic types of electrophoresis?

Posted February 9, 2022


There are several different types of electrophoresis, each of which provides unique information about a target protein.

Basic types of electrophoresis include:

  • Routine Electrophoresis - Routine Electrophoresis is the traditional and most widely used laboratory technique for separating proteins and nucleic acids, and can be used to separate solutes in a single run.
  • High-Resolution Electrophoresis – This is a variation of routine electrophoresis using a high voltage, typically used when higher protein resolution is required.
  • Polyacrylamide Electrophoresis (PAGE) – PAGE is used to separate proteins according to molecular size and charge-to-mass ratio. 
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) – AGE is used to separate DNA or RNA fragments of varying lengths based on their molecular size.
  • Isoelectric Focusing (IEF) – Isoelectric Focusing is the preferred technique for separating amphoteric compounds with higher resolution.
  • Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) – Capillary Electrophoresis combines electrophoresis and high-performance liquid chromatography and is performed in buffer-filled, narrow-bore capillaries with an internal diameter of 25 to 100 mm. CE is the preferred technique for facilitating analyte separation.
  • Two-Dimension Electrophoresis – This is a highly specialized technique involving the use of two distinct separation techniques such as Isoelectric Focusing followed by AGE or PAGE to separate the sample. It is widely used in proteomics and genetics research. 
  • Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) – PFGE facilitates the separation of large DNA molecules up to 10Mb, which are too large to be separated using AGE or PAGE in routine electrophoresis systems. It involves applying an electric field that occasionally changes direction to a gel matrix.
Additional resources

Capture efficiency of dynamic pH junction focusing in capillary electrophoresis

Gel Electrophoresis

Gelite™ Green Nucleic Acid Gel Staining Kit