UNIT 10.5 Overview of Digital Electrophoresis Analysis

  1. Scott Medberry1,
  2. Sean Gallagher2,
  3. Butch Moomaw3

Published Online: 1 MAY 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb1005s66

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Medberry, S., Gallagher, S. and Moomaw, B. 2004. Overview of Digital Electrophoresis Analysis. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 66:II:10.5:10.5.1–10.5.25.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, San Francisco, California

  2. 2

    UVP, Inc., Upland, California

  3. 3

    Hamamatsu Photonic Systems, Spring Branch, Texas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2004
  2. Published Print: APR 2004


Gel electrophoresis has become a ubiquitous method in molecular biology for separating biomolecules. This prominence is the result of several factors, including the robustness, speed, and potentially high throughput of the technique. The results of this method are traditionally documented using silver halide-based photography followed by manual interpretation. While this remains an excellent method for qualitative documentation of single-gel results, digital capture offers a number of significant advantages when documentation requires quantitation and sophisticated analysis. Digital images of gel electropherograms can be obtained rapidly using an image-capture device, and the images can be easily manipulated using image analysis software. This overview presents reasons for digital documentation and analysis, defines some important key terms for imaging, explains the capture process and reviews the devices used for image capture, and provides an introduction to the software and methods used for one- and two-dimensional digital image analysis.


  • electrophoresis;
  • imaging;
  • software;
  • digital analysis;
  • quantitation