The second prototype of the Gel Integrated System is done. I ran a gel on it (wet tested it) today, and I am happy to say that I am ready to sell, build, and ship the first few units. There are a few minor revisions that will go out in the first few units, like a clear “lid”, and slightly different dimensions for the wire cutouts, but mostly they will be the same as what I tested today.
Here is a brief rundown of how the test went.
Pouring the gel started out ok, but I need to get the seals a little wider and the slot that they go into a little thinner, so they seal. The leakage I experienced should be a non issue for future users.
It is literally impossible to run this box backwards by accident, since you can only put the tray in in one direction. If you wanted to run it “backwards” you could pull the electrodes out and move them to the other side, but otherwise your DNA will always be loaded on the right side. The wells need to be wider and thinner, but setup for this part is slick and simple., and changing the width of the wells is as simple as cutting the comb out of thinner plastic.
Here is the post-run gel, in regular light You can barely see the loading dye on the bottom, since I didn’t quite get the sample in the well, but the lanes ran very evenly.
This picture shows two things: one, I might need a pre-filter if I want to do photography. Two, you can barely see that the the gel did run, but that the sample wells need to be broader so you get the nice crisp bands that everyone loves. In real life it is quite a bit more visible. We will see what people want!
Overall, I would call it a success. A few tweaks need to be made on the units to be shipped out, but it’s time to try to get this thing out there, and have people use it!