Showing posts from May 30, 2010

Ghetto Sanger Sequencing, Part I

Here are some ruminations about the first steps I'm taking towards a kind of Ghetto Sanger sequencing contraption:
Basically, what I'm trying to build is a setup that will automate some of the steps in Sanger sequencing. One of these steps involves automatically starting a gel electrophoresis, which includes placing the gel into the buffer-filled gel box, firing up the power source, monitoring the gel's progress, shutting down the power source in time and removing the gel from the gel box. One of the problems here is that gels are somewhat difficult to handle for something like a robotic arm. It's much like trying to transfer a slab of Jell-O into a water bath and then out again. So my idea was to use plastic slides with gel-filled channels. Let's call them gel slides for short. The material should be non-conductive, transparent, and withstand a certain a mount of heat. Here's a sketch of one, with 8 channels, 6 of them are sketched as being gel-filled:

Initially, …