Here, I have described some of the recently developed portable agarose gel electrophoresis systems with the built-in safe imager. The built-in imager or illuminator helps us visualize the DNA migration in real-time while doing electrophoresis. These setups have been designed in such a way that removes the fear of UV-based DNA damage and UV exposure. They give DNA products with an improved cloning efficiency without the necessity of further purification.
1. The MUPIDTM-One LED Illuminator
The MUPIDTM-One LED Illuminator is an electrophoresis system. It has a built-in transilluminator that can be used to visualize the DNA migration during electrophoresis. It allows the detection of DNA fragments without the need for the UV transilluminator. This is because it has built-in blue LED light illuminator that provides you real-time monitoring of the DNA migration. The orange-colored filter /cover allows your safety during the gel viewing and you do not need to wear the goggles.
The blue LED light illuminator emits the light of 470 nm that illuminates the DNA bands in the gel. However, the gel should be pre-cast stained with Midoiri Green or SYBR dyes compatible with blue illuminators. Since it doesn’t emit the short-wave UV lights, the DNA samples are safe for downstream applications. However, MUPTM-One LED Illuminator is compatible only with MUPLDTM-One gel electrophoresis power system and comes with gel casting set, gel chamber, power system, combs, gel trays (both small and large)
It can easily be used to purify the DNA fragments while performing the electrophoresis. To do so, there must be two well systems; sample well and collection well at a fixed distance below the sample well. Load the samples in the sample wells and run the electrophoresis. When the samples reach into the collection well, you can collect the samples from the sample from the collection well. To buy the setup, please visit the homepage of NIPPON Genetics EUROPE.
Features of the product;
- Size: 166 x 170 x 51 mm
- Viewing Area: 150 x 60 mm
- Weight: 0.9 kg
- LED wavelength: 470 nm
- Filter: orange
- DNA sensitivity: about 2ng
2. BlueGelTM Electrophoresis System
BlueGelTM is another inexpensive, portable, handy electrophoresis system that is integrated with a built-in blue LED safe imager. The setup can be used to visualize the DNA bands as they separate during the electrophoresis. It gives fast results and requires 10 times lesser reagents than the traditional one. This instrument is developed by minipcr and avoids the use of any other gel documentation system and transilluminators that use UV light.
It operates at 48V and requires no use of the Ethidium bromide (the most mutagenic, unsafe DNA staining dye). The system is built-in with a blue LED light transilluminator (safe imager) that illuminates the DNA bands in the gel. The gel should be pre-cast stained with GreenViewTM plus DNA staining dye or any other dyes compatible with the blue illuminator. It has a two-button operation; one is for the run and another one is for the DNA visualization.
Since it doesn’t require the use of the UV light the electrophoresis products can directly be used for downstream applications. To take a picture of the gel, you can simply use your cell phone. For the user guide, watch this video on YouTube. If you are interested in buying this product, please visit the product website, minipcr. It costs 350USD per setup which is an affordable price.
Features of the product are;
- Gel size: 60×60 mm
- Gel volume: 15 ml
- Buffer volume: 25 ml power supply AC 100-240V, 50-60 Hz, 48V
- Dimension: 9 x 4 x 3 inch
- Weight: 350g
The setup includes;
- Gel casting platform
- Two combs each with 9 and 13 wells
- A buffer chamber
- A gel tray to cast the gel
- The blue base
- An orange cover
- A cleaning cloth and ClearViewTM spray to clean the blue transilluminator lens
- A power supply adaptor
3. E-Gel® Safe ImagerTM Real-Time Transilluminator
The second most portable agarose gel electrophoresis integrated with a built-in safe imager is the E-Gel® Safe ImagerTM Real-time Transilluminator. It has been developed by InvitrogenTM that also allows you to trace the migration of DNA fragments in a real-time manner. It gives enhanced cloning efficiency of retrieved DNA (DNA extracted from the gel) as well as improved safety for the users.
E-Gel® Safe ImagerTM Real-time Transilluminator can be purchased as a stand-alone item or in combination with the E-Gel® iBaseTM Power System or it can also be purchased as a part of a Starter Kit that includes an E-Gel® iBaseTM Power System, E-Gel® CloneWellTM gels, and an E-Gel® 96 High Range RNA Marker.
To perform the real-time electrophoresis and DNA visualization E-Gel® iBaseTM Power System needs to be integrated with E-Gel® Safe ImagesTM Real-time Transilluminator. The gel used for the electrophoresis is the E-Gel® CloneWellTM gel. The system is sophisticated in the sense that running/tank buffer is not required for the electrophoresis. Electrodes of copper have been attached to both side of the E-Gel® CloneWellTM gel. These electrodes directly touch the corresponding electrodes on the E-Gel® iBaseTM Power System.
The electrophoretic system including, E-Gel® iBaseTM Power System and E-Gel® Safe ImagesTM Real-time Transilluminator has an automatic shutoff feature that prevents the overrun of the gel. The E-gels used for the electrophoresis using this setup contain SYBR® Safe DNA binding dye that allows visualization of the DNA fragments in real-time. For the extraction/isolation purpose direction of the electric field can be reversed.
Assembly of the setup is very simple as it is a self-contained device. You just need to connect the AC adapter provided with the setup and insert the E-gel into the top of the E-Gel® iBaseTM Power system attached to the E-Gel® Safe ImagesTM Real-time Transilluminator. Load your sample into the well and place water into the blank wells and cover the gel with amber filter and that’s all. Press the power button and set the voltage and time as required and run. Don’t forget to load the DNA marker while running the sample.
E-Gel® Safe ImagerTM Real-time Transilluminator is normally used for the electrophoretic isolation and or separation of the DNA fragments/PCR products. It removes the need for further purification of the isolated samples which are ready-to-use. The E-gels contain two sets of wells; sample wells and collection wells. You will load your samples into the sample wells and start the electrophoresis.
After the samples reach the collection wells, you can collect your sample directly from the collection wells using a micropipette. The isolated product gives an improved cloning efficiency as there is no use of the UV rays that can damage the DNA. For the user guide, watch this video on YouTube and to buy the product, visit the homepage of Thermo Fischer.