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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Electrophoresis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Role of Buffers

Buffers are used in electrophoresis to create the pH and conduct the current. The buffer ions will carry the current during electrophoresis.
The pH set by the buffer determines the net charge on the solutes. The pH ionizes these solutes and the resulting net charge determines which electrode the solutes migrate toward. Besides setting the pH, the buffer also maintains the pH throughout the electrophoresis of the sample.