The usefulness of electrophoresis is illustrated through information about its different applications. The following information about electrophoresis uses gives us an idea as to how this process can be used in a variety of fields.
The phenomenon of electrophoresis is marked by movement of particles (of a fluid) under the influence of electric charge. The presence of an electrically charged surface between a fluid and particles bring about this movement. Electrophoresis is also referred to as cataphoresis and it finds many applications in different fields. Arne Tiselius a Swedish chemist first used this technique in the year 1937. The main benefactor of electrophoresis process is the health sector. However, this reaction is also used in other fields. Different electrophoresis uses are given below.
Different Uses of Electrophoresis
The electrophoresis reaction finds application in many fields starting from health care to forensics. The phenomenon of electrophoresis carried out the separation of constituents of a compound on a molecular level. For example, hemoglobin electrophoresis is a process that tests blood samples and determines whether a person suffers from any disorders of blood.
The gel electrophoresis reaction is used for DNA fingerprinting. In this electrophoresis reaction, the negatively charged DNA is separated by attracting it towards positive electrodes. It is possible to analyze and isolate the DNA sequences with this reaction.
Drug tests conducted by the International Olympic Committee make use of the electrophoresis reaction. These tests help in finding out whether an athlete has ingested illegal supplements.
Electronic Paper Display
The electrophoresis technology is not just used in medical sector, but also for applications like the E-paper. A special ink called the ‘electronic ink’ is contained in this paper. This ink is formed of positively and negatively charged particles of contrasting colors. Application of electrical charge to this paper causes either positive or negative particles to rise to the surface. The polarity of electricity determines whether positive or negative particles rise to the surface.
The analysis of protein is carried out by collecting samples of urine and blood. The process of analyzing proteins reveals their actual level in the body. The actual proportion of proteins in the body is compared to the ideal or normal level. Based on this comparison, one can determine whether a person is healthy or not. Since other, simpler methods are available for protein analysis, electrophoresis is not commonly used.
Manufacture and Analysis of Antibiotics
The electrophoresis reaction has been used for a long time in preparation of antibiotic medicines. Along with antibiotic manufacturing, this process is also used in testing these drugs for resistance to pathogens.
Forensic scientists and investigators have found the phenomenon of electrophoresis to be of great use in analyzing the authenticity of inks. Many different types of chemicals are used in the preparation of inks for documents, checks, currency, etc. It is with the help of electrophoresis reaction that analysis of ink is conducted. This kind of analysis helps in differentiating between forged and original documents.
Electrophoresis is used in the analysis and purification of different types of vaccines. Hepatitis and influenza are amongst the common diseases for which vaccines are analyzed.
Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) procedure is used to carry out genetic fingerprinting. The PFGE procedure is similar to gel electrophoresis except for the fact that voltage applied in the process is switched in 3 different directions.
Anion Separation in Explosives
The technology of capillary electrophoresis is used in the analysis of explosives. Based on this analysis, the anions are separated from explosives. This process is also applied in the separation of anions from poisonous materials. Electrophoresis procedure is used in the field of forensics to find details that provide links to crime suspects.
The electrophoresis uses such as genetic fingerprinting, drug testing, protein analysis electronic paper display are amongst important ones. From all the information presented above, we can conclude that electrophoresis is an important reaction that finds many applications in various fields.