Make a Gel Electrophoresis Power Supply

Science Technology
Make a Gel Electrophoresis Power Supply


DIY bio fans love their gel electrophoresis systems, which use a constant electrical field to manipulate molecules suspended in a gel or liquid.

Makezine_COTM_October-PowerSupplyOpen source DIY Bio company IO Rodeo created an Instructable for a gel electrophoresis power supply, which creates the electrical field that accomplishes the molecular movement.

IO Rodeo’s design is based on the MAX1771 DC-DC controller with output voltage set using a voltage divider–the user can set a variable output voltage depending on what sort of liquid is in the electrophoresis tank. The controller triggers a transistor with a pulse-frequency modulated signal in order to maintain a constant output voltage.

The creators have a code repository if you’d like to play around with the design files.

2 thoughts on “Make a Gel Electrophoresis Power Supply

  1. Daniel Kim says:

    Back in my grad school days, I used to read the bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts newsgroup. A contributor posted instructions for making a Gel Box for less than 1 dollar. The key was to use graphite, carved out of a pencil, as the electrodes, instead of expensive platinum. I posted a followup later on in which I used plain engineering leads from our university bookstore.

    The original poster later showed how to use a Bridge Rectifier to create a quick an dangerous 110 V pulse power supply. I built a complete set of electrophoresis equipment using graphite electrodes, scavenged glass, yellow tip boxes, craft foam and binder clips. I even made a small DNA sequencing gel rig and a Western Blot rig using large graphite plates (large motor brushes, I think). I had myself a complete electrophoresis lab set all home made.

    WARNING! This can kill you so dead you won’t believe it. Be really really careful if you try doing this stuff.

  2. biskit911 says:

    love #pineapplejack very smart

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