Electrophoresis is a method used for separation and sometimes purification of macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids etc.) that are different in size, charge and structure. When charged macromolecules are placed in an electrical field, they move towards positive or negative charge. The principle behind electrophoresis is based on the differences in the distances traveled by the macromolecules. Electrophoresis is performed within a gel medium for proteins and nucleic acids. While usually agarose gel is used for electrophoresis of nucleic acids, for proteins polyacrylamid gel is preferred.
Due to the fact that gel electrophoresis method is quite fast and convenient, it is frequently used in the fields of forensics, moleculer biology, genetics, microbiology and biochemistry.