An agarose gel electrophoresis first separates the proteins in a serum sample. Antiserum against the protein of interest is spread directly on the gel. The protein of interest precipitates in the gel matrix. After a wash step to remove other proteins, the precipitated protein is stained. This method is qualitative and is used to identify proteins found in multiple myeloma.
Below is the immunofixation electrophoresis gel from a serum sample analyzed on SPIFE 3000, Helena Laboratories. After electrophoresis, the precipitated proteins are stained with Acid Violet, a stain developed and used by Helena Laboratories.
The SP lane represents a routine serum protein electrophoresis of this specimen. On the next three protein separations, antiserum against IgG, IgA, and IgM were applied to the G, A, M lanes respectively. Antiserum to kappa light chain was added to the next protein separation and antiserum to lambda light chain to the last protein separation.