Electrophoresis Chamber

Electrophoresis Chamber

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This object is part of a set-up for vertical gel electrophoresis. Gel electrophoresis is a technique that uses the electrical charges of molecules to separate them by their length. It is often used to analyze DNA fragments.
This set-up was cobbled together by scientists in the lab at Genentech, a biotechnology company, in the late 1970s and used through the 1980s. Its different components were purchased from several suppliers in the San Francisco Bay area and assembled together with binder clips. Although gel electrophoresis set-ups were available for purchase at the time, scientists found their own set-ups to be more reliable and easier to troubleshoot.
Because of its long length, this device was particularly useful for sequencing stretches of synthetic DNA created in the lab. A long length allows for greater resolution between molecular fragments, an important consideration in sequencing efforts.
Interview with Dan Yansura, Genentech scientist, 12/20/2012
Currently not on view
Object Name
electrophoresis chamber
Genentech, Inc.
place made
United States: California, South San Francisco
United States: California, South San Francisco
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 18 1/2 in x 9 in x 4 1/4 in; 46.99 cm x 22.86 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Genentech
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object