On 26 Aug 1993 16:05:47 GMT,
Vivian Miao writes:
>>OK, I'll ask ....
>>What's rocket electrophoresis?
>>Its a technique for quantifying proteins (or anything else you can raise an
antibody against). If you are familiar with SRID (single radial
immunodiffusion) assays, its basically similar in concept but involves
Basically you make a thin, horizontal agarose gel containing your
antibody and cut a row of small circular wells across the middle of it. You
then place your samples and series of standards of known concentration in
the wells and electrophorese them (in a LKB multiphor or similar tank
using paper wicks dipping into buffer solutions). As the antigen migrates
through the gel it contacts antibody and at a certain ratio you get the
classic antibody-antigen precipitin reaction occuring. The more antigen you
have, the further it migrates before the precipitin reaction goes to
completion . You end up with an elongated elipsoid precipitin reaction with
a rounded end at the well end and a sharp point at the limit of migration.
This is basically "rocket shaped", hence the name. The gel is
usually then dried and the precipitin line stained with coomassie
blue. The length of the rocket is proportional to the concentration of
antigen which is determined by reference to a plot from the standards.
A useful and fun technique from the archives of science. It used to be used
a lot in clinical chemistry before the advent of modern analysers.
David A. Johnston
Dept of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road,
South Kensington, London SW7 5DB.
(tel 071 9389297, fax 071 9388754, email daj at nhm.ic.ac.uk)