Collage of supplies for gel electrophoresis including agarose powder, stains, buffers, ladders, and precast gel systems

Reagents optimized for agarose gel electrophoresis

In biolaboratories, agarose gel electrophoresis is the modus operandi for size-based separation of DNA and RNA fragments. The agarose gel matrix is porous and acts as a sieve through which the nucleic acid molecules migrate. To maximize accuracy of DNA resolution, it is essential to choose high-quality agarose, smart-sized DNA ladders, and high-sensitivity DNA stains. Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a wide range of reagents optimized for agarose gel electrophoresis.


Agarose is the basic ingredient for casting gels and is available in powder and tablet forms. Agarose is dissolved in boiling water; upon cooling, agarose transitions from a liquid to gel.

Traditionally, agarose powder has been used for manually casting gels. UltraPure Agarose powder is available in three formulations to suit various agarose gel electrophoresis applications:

  • UltraPure Agarose is standard melting-point agarose designed for routine separation of DNA and RNA fragments ranging between 500 and 23,000 bp
  • UltraPure Agarose 1000 is a specialized agarose that provides higher resolution of PCR fragments and other short DNA fragments
  • UltraPure Low Melting Point Agarose is suitable for in-gel enzymatic reactions and rapid DNA gel extraction

Agarose tablets are a more convenient format to use compared to traditional agarose powder. The benefits of TopVision agarose tablets include:

  • Consistent results—the variability arising from errors in weighing is eliminated
  • Efficient—the weighing step is eliminated, and the tablet is formulated for easy dissolving, which improves process efficiency
  • Portable—the bottle-free blister packaging allows for easy storage and portability
  • Earth-friendly—agarose tablets are manufactured using a solvent-free process, while the agarose powder manufacturing heavily relies on organic solvents. Therefore, agarose tablets are a greener option.

E-Gel Precast Agarose Gel Systems offer the convenience of bufferless agarose gel electrophoresis with ready-to-use precast agarose gel cassettes containing in-gel stain. The E-Gel Precast Agarose Gel Systems are suitable for both standard and high throughput applications.

Power Snap module, Power Snap base, and E-gel precast gel cassette
E-Gel precast gel containing SYBR Safe stain

Running buffers for electrophoresis

Buffers are ionic solutions with electrical conductivity that preserve the pH and facilitate nucleic acid mobility during electrophoresis.

  • UltraPure 10X TBE Buffer is ideal for resolving DNA fragments that are less than 1,000 bp. TBE buffers have a higher buffering capacity compared to TAE buffers, which allow TBE to be used for prolonged electrophoresis runs.
  • UltraPure 10X TAE Buffer is ideal for resolving DNA fragments longer than 1,000 bp and for downstream enzymatic applications such as cloning
  • UltraPure DNase/RNase-Free Distilled Water is designed for molecular biology applications that are sensitive to DNase and RNase activity

Loading buffers for agarose gel electrophoresis

Loading buffers are used to load sample DNA and ladders into the gel wells. The loading dyes contain chromogenic agents that aid visualization of DNA migration in a gel.

Explore Invitrogen DNA loading buffers

DNA ladders

Invitrogen DNA ladders are available in a wide assortment of sizes ranging between 10 bp and 15 kb. The proprietary manufacturing processes produce high purity ladder fragments. These ladders are suitable for use in agarose gels and can be stored at room temperature.

Explore Invitrogen DNA ladders

DNA stains

DNA staining dyes are used for visualizing and imaging the nucleic acid fragments under blue or UV light. The staining dyes bind to the DNA molecule and fluoresce under UV light.

Explore Invitrogen DNA stains

Water droplet on leaf surface signifying the green features of SYBR Safe DNA Stain
SYBR Safe DNA Gel Stain is nontoxic, noncarcinogenic, and classified as nonhazardous waste. This means that using SYBR Safe DNA Gel Stain not only helps to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals in the lab but also avoids the generation of hazardous waste and the associated management and disposal costs.

Devices for agarose gel electrophoresis

In addition to high-quality biochemicals, dependable devices are essential for performing agarose gel electrophoresis. The devices required for agarose gel electrophoresis include gel casting and gel running systems, power supply devices, and transilluminators.

Owl electrophoresis systems

Owl Horizontal Electrophoresis Systems are gel casting and gel running systems for high-, low-, and standard-throughput electrophoresis. The horizontal systems are recommended for agarose gel electrophoresis and are available in multiple formats including, large, micro, wide, and mini gels. Accessories such as tanks, chambers, casters, plates, spacers, and combs are also available.

Owl electrophoresis systems can be tailored to fit your needs.

Learn more about custom Owl systems


Use the Safe Imager 2.0 Blue Light Transilluminator for safely viewing stained gels on the laboratory benchtop, or within a gel documentation system.

Power Supply

PowerEase Touch Power Supplies bring a new level of convenience to your electrophoresis experiments. With a bright LCD touchscreen interface, you can enter in custom programs or use the preprogrammed gel electrophoresis protocols.


Nucleic acid electrophoresis products
Explore Thermo Fisher Scientific’s suite of products for all your electrophoresis needs.

Nucleic acid electrophoresis education
Learn about gel electrophoresis basics, workflow, considerations, applications, and troubleshooting for separation and analysis of nucleic acids.

DNA and RNA protocols
Find easy-to-follow protocols for everyday experiments, including agarose protocols and mRNA protocols.


Nucleic acid purification and analysis support center
Find tips, troubleshooting help, and resources for your nucleic acid purification and analysis applications.

Contact us
For additional questions, reach out to our Technical Application Scientists.

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