3D-gel electrophoresis is a new approach to DNA and protein analysis according to
one, two, or three independent separation parameters [Electrophoresis 2003, 24:4153-60].
Samples are arrayed on the top surface of a 3D geometry gel body. Separation occurs parallel to the vertical axis under identical electrophoretic and thermal conditions. Protein bands are resolved online by photodetection of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF): A digital camera below the gel acquires images in real time as the fluorescently labeled components pass the laser-illuminated detection plane.
A series of images is stored on a computer during the electrophoresis run.
Image processing software (NIH ImageJ) displays vertical sections of the recorded 3D image stack, making the results immediately accessible without further gel processing and documentation.
The separation patterns are analyzed using commercially available software (e.g., Kapelan LabImage 1D or Decodon Delta2D).
A single 3D-gel embodies the equivalent of up to 36 onventional slab gels, represented by vertical sections of the 3D image stack, thereby improving the comparability, resolution and efficiency of the separation.