Platinum wire for electrophoresis in France
DANIEL Y KIM
dkim at nmsu.edu
Fri Feb 16 12:13:12 EST 1996
In article <4fv2ff$sgr at mserv1.dl.ac.uk> Sophie.Launey at ifremer.fr (Sophie Launey, These Andre Gerard 31 12 96, Ifremer DRV RA, 46.36.30.07) writes:
>Does anybody know a supplier for platinum wire in France (or neighbour
>countries: Belgium, UK...)? We are planning to make electrodes for protein
>electrophoresis, and the supplier we were told about (Compagnie des Metaux
>Precieux, in Paris) does not exist anymore... So we would be very grateful
>if somebody could point us to another company.
>Thanks in advance
Last year there was a post in which pencil "leads" were proposed as an
alternative electrode for electrophoresis. The author described a method
for making an agarose gel apparatus for less than $ 1 US by extracting
the graphite rod from a pencil and using it as an electrode.
I have tried a variation on this process, using instead "engineering
leads" (graphite for mechanical pencils used in drafting). These are
about 1.5 mm thick and are quite durable. I have made agarose and
polyacrylamide minigel apparatus from these, and they work very well.
Plastic spacers of 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 mm thickness, along with matching
combs, can be made from clear plastic rulers.
The graphite rods are somewhat brittle, and need replacing occasionally,
but this is not difficult to do, nor is it expensive. I have also made a
mini Western electroblotter using graphite rods of the same type, so now I
have a complete electrophoresis and blotting system which cost me a total
of $20 US. Most of the material cost was in the "banana plugs" for the
The original post RE pencil graphite was later cited in Paul Hengen's
TIBS column, I believe.
I hope this is of some help. If you attempt to make such apparatus,
remember that the usual safety features found in commercial gel rigs
should be incorporated in the design. Don't do anything stupid!
dkim at nmsu.edu
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