How do you load gel with a micropipette?

Loading a gel with a micropipette involves carefully dispensing samples into the wells of an agarose or polyacrylamide gel for subsequent electrophoresis analysis. Here’s a general step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare the gel: Ensure that your gel is set up and ready for loading. This typically involves casting the gel, allowing it to solidify, and placing it in the electrophoresis tank filled with running buffer.
  2. Prepare your samples: Mix your DNA, RNA, protein, or other samples with loading dye if necessary. Loading dye helps visualize the samples as they migrate through the gel during electrophoresis and provides density for loading into the wells.
  3. Set up your micropipette: Attach a gel loading tip to your micropipette. Make sure the tip is securely attached and that the pipette is calibrated to the appropriate volume for loading.
  4. Load the samples: Gently immerse the tip of the micropipette into the sample solution. Depress the plunger to the first stop to draw up the sample into the tip. Be careful not to introduce air bubbles into the tip.
  5. Position the tip over the well: Hold the loaded micropipette tip above the well you want to load and slowly dispense the sample into the well. Aim to place the tip near the bottom of the well to ensure the sample sinks into the gel.
  6. Repeat for other samples: Repeat the loading process for each sample, being careful to avoid cross-contamination between samples.
  7. Finish loading: Once all samples are loaded, carefully remove the micropipette from the gel without disturbing the wells.
  8. Start electrophoresis: After loading, carefully connect the gel to the power supply, ensuring proper orientation (positive and negative electrodes). Then start the electrophoresis run according to your protocol.

It’s crucial to handle the samples and micropipette with care to avoid introducing contamination or damaging the gel during loading. Additionally, practice and attention to detail can improve the accuracy and efficiency of gel loading with a micropipette.

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