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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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Troubleshooting Irregular, Distorted, or Atypical Bands

Band Appearance
Possible Cause
Short migration patterns
Contaminated or aged buffer
Diffuse bands
Markedly wet gels
Poor sample application
Streaks perpendicular to bands
Tearing/poking gel in sample application
Weak bands
Not enough sample
Not enough stain
Other causes of irregular and distorted bandsHemolyzed sample
Bent or dirty applicator
Air bubbles in sample application
Too much sample
Wick flow
Too much heat or drying