Agarose is derived from Red Seaweed and is part of the Alginates extracted which make up Agar. Agar is further purified to remove impurities and chemically engineered to extract the Agaro-biose repeating units which make up Agarose.
Agarose makes up a macro-porous matrix which allows the rapid diffusion of macromolecules. This can be exploited by molecular biologists, who utilise its important sieving properties during electrophoresis to separate these molecules.
The general criteria for Gels is the Electro-endo osmosis which is a measure of the counter current ion migration through the gel. Na ions migrate in the opposite direction to DNA during electrophoresis and when they do this they pull water molecules with them, this condition is not preferable in DNA gels but can be advantageous in protein gels. Sulphates SO4 likewise exhibit migration properties and are viewed as a contaminant along with Ash which are both difficult to remove, which is why these values are included in the criteria and reported to be as low as possible. All Agarose is tested for Dnase and Rnase melting point and gelling point information. The latter is directed by the number of methylated groups attached to sugar chains within the Agarobiose units of the gel, which also affects the gel viscosity.
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