For the best 2-D gel electrophoresis results, researchers optimize their sample preparation and first-dimension isoelectric focusing conditions to ensure adequate separation of complex samples. Because the optimal IEF conditions for different protein samples can vary significantly, each set of conditions must be tested separately. This can be a time-consuming and tedious process. 

Although most IEF systems on the market have multiple lanes, they allow the user to confidently test one condition at a time. Conventional IEF cells average the overall current among all lanes. Unless all samples have identical conductivities, the current will not be distributed evenly among them and the ultimate current that each strip receives may not reach or may exceed the intended current. This can result in under- or overfocusing and, in some cases, strip burning.

The PROTEAN i12 IEF system controls lanes separately, allowing researchers to set precise current limits for each lane. This enables the system to run different samples and pH ranges simultaneously while preventing differing samples from affecting each other, resulting in more reliable and reproducible focusing. The system also lets researchers test several optimization conditions simultaneously and run samples from different experiments together, both of which will speed their time to results.

“Standard 2-D gel electrophoresis technology is very complex and requires multiple steps, making it difficult for researchers to reproduce their data,” said Dr Stefan Lehr, head of proteomics at the German Diabetes Center, Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, in Düsseldorf, Germany. “The introduction of single-lane control within the PROTEAN i12 IEF cell gives me access to an easy-to-use, flexible system that will help to generate more reproducible 2-D gels.”

Additional key features:

·      Touch screen ¾ intuitive user interface to create and edit protocols and run the instrument

·      PROTEAN i12 Reporter ¾ free web-based application to analyze data, create graphs, and print reports

·      USB port ¾ convenient feature to export data for storage and analysis without the need for a dedicated computer

·      Multiple running modes ¾ same tray can be used to run IPG strips gel-side down or gel-side up, or to incorporate cup loading

Bio-Rad offers ReadyStrip™ IPG strips in various pH ranges to assist users in running more reproducible IEF experiments. The ReadyPrep™ 2-D starter kit helps first-time 2-D gel electrophoresis users perfect the 2-D technique on the PROTEAN i12 IEF system with a control E. coli protein sample.

For additional information about the PROTEAN i12 IEF system, visit To learn more about Bio-Rad’s product lineup for 2-D gel electrophoresis, visit

About Bio-Rad

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The Company is renowned worldwide among hospitals, universities, major research institutions, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, for its commitment to quality and customer service. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 100,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs over 6,800 people globally and had revenues exceeding $1.9 billion in 2010. For more information, visit