AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between gel electrophoresis and SDS-PAGE?

Posted September 19, 2022

Basis of differentiation Gel electrophoresisSDS-PAGE
DefinitionGel eletrophoresis is a technique used to separate charged molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins based on their size and chargeSDS-PAGE is a high-resolution gel electrophoresis technique used to separate proteins based on their mass 
Composition of gel Composed either of agarose or polyacrylamide gelComposed only of polyacrylamide gel
Ease of preparationSimple Complex processes
Run configurationCan be performed vertically or horizontallyAlways runs vertically
Run conditionsGenerally run under native conditions Run under denaturing conditions 
DenaturationProcess includes both denaturing and non-denaturing techniquesProteins are denatured prior to separation
Basis for separation Separation is based on the charge and sizeSeparation is based on mass and charge
Pore sizePore size is not uniform –it is generally smaller in higher concentrations of agarose Pore size is uniform and determined by the ratio of acrylamide to bis-acrylamide 
Staining dyeEthidium bromideCoomassie staining or silver staining  
ResolutionHas lower resolutionHas a better resolution
Manner of castingSets as it coolsSets by a chemical reaction
Additional resources

SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of proteins

Gelite™ Safe DNA Gel Stain *10,000X Water Solution*

ProLite™ Orange Protein Gel Stain *5000X*

Stain-All *CAS 7423-31-6*