Frequently Asked Questions: What modifications are needed to run my experiment on the EDGE?

The EDGE electrophoresis system is one of the simplest ways to incorporate agarose gel electrophoresis into the biotechnology classroom. Teachers are loving the integration of electrophoresis tank, power supply, and blue light visualization, making it an easy fit for educational laboratories.

The EDGE system allows students to see the DNA bands migrating through the agarose gel in real-time.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive involves how to modify existing experiments to run on the EDGE. The easiest answer is: You don’t have to, just keep doing what you are already doing! It’s really that simple – the EDGE was designed to run all standard electrophoresis experiments with little to no modification required.

What buffers can be used with the EDGE?

The EDGE system can use all standard electrophoresis buffers, including TAE, TBE, and SB, at standard and diluted concentrations. So, feel free to use whatever buffer came with your experiment!

What voltage should I choose?

The EDGE contains a 100V/150V variable power supply, allowing instructors to choose which voltage works better for their particular experiment or class period. In general, we recommend running gels at 150V, for the fastest results, and checking after 10 minutes to observe the progress of the DNA bands (if using SYBR Safe stain) or dye front. For most experiments, your DNA will be ready to analyze in 10-20 minutes at 150V, or slightly longer at 100V. It’s difficult to predict the exact timing since many factors will influence how quickly the DNA migrates including gel concentration, DNA fragment size, buffer formula and concentration, and the thickness of gels. All Edvotek experiments will include a table that indicates the expected timings.

Example table of timings for the EDGE and M12/M36 electrophoresis systems.

Do I need to change anything in my gel?

No, the same agarose gels you have always prepared will still work great with the EDGE. The 10x7cm tray included with the EDGE system works best with a volume of 40-50 mL agarose – follow the instructions in the experiment or the EDGE manual for details. For example, the table below shows how to create a 45 mL 0.8% agarose gel. Remember to add the SYBR Safe stain to the molten agarose if you will be using it for the experiment!

As you can see, the EDGE electrophoresis system requires almost no modifications to use with any of your existing electrophoresis experiments! If you have any questions about specific uses please let us know!

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