5 Creative Ways to Teach Gel Electrophoresis to Keep Students Excited

Akanksha Saxena

Have you ever wondered how scientists separate the various components of a biological cell? It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack! So, that's where gel electrophoresis comes in, one of the most exciting and widely used techniques in Clinical Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology laboratories. 

Whether there are high school students or undergraduates, the first time your students load their self-casted gel is a moment to cherish. As much as they are thrilled to see the macromolecules separating before their eyes, they are equally unnerved by the scientific concepts, details, and terminologies.

Hence, as an educator, it becomes our duty to help our students overcome these fears and become comfortable with the underlying principles of gel electrophoresis. We list 5 creative ways that can help turn the tables in your next session.

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

Modern-day educators can make more insightful points by utilizing interactive models and simulations as they render students with better visualization options. By utilizing the 3D simulatory experience, such as the one offered by Labster, your students can gain a better understanding of the significance of different components within the gel electrophoresis unit.

Studies have reported that abstract ideas like the direction of macromolecule movement, separation of macromolecules based on their molecular masses, etc which are otherwise difficult to follow can be made clearer with interactive model-based teaching.

Seeing gel electrophoresis up close.

2. Learning with Games and Activities

To overcome the daunting intricacies of the technique, the power of games and classroom activities can be exploited. These tools can be used to break down complex concepts into bite-sized informational pieces and present them in an interesting-cum-interactive format to students. 

A gel electrophoresis jeopardy game can be an engaging way for students to review and reinforce their understanding of the technique. The interactive Gel Electrophoresis Simulation by Labster includes similar activities to provide an immersive experience to students.  

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

In today's digital age, technology is revolutionizing the way we teach and learn, and this is especially true when it comes to a complex topic like gel electrophoresis. Infusing technology into study plans can make gel electrophoresis more objective and interesting for students as:

  • There is scope for mistakes in online simulatory sessions.
  • There is an option to play around in virtual labs without the fear of wasting lab consumables like agarose, buffer, loading dye, etc.
  • There is an option to replay online videos which allows students to learn at their own pace. Online learning has innumerable benefits that allow students to grasp tricky techniques like gel loading with micropipettes.
Gel electrophoresis station.
Discover Labster's Gel Electrophoresis virtual lab today!

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

Linking a scientific technique to its importance in the academic and industrial sectors makes it lucrative for students to master. By making them realize how HRs seek a basic skill set from a Biology researcher, you can pique their interest in gel electrophoresis. 

You can also make your students imagine being at the forefront of medical research and discovering new cures for diseases. To create such an impetus in the medicine field, what’s needed of a scientist is the power to think and a basic well-equipped skill set of which gel electrophoresis is an essential part.

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Gel electrophoresis has a wide range of real-world applications that make it an essential technique to learn for anyone interested in science and healthcare. Here listed are a few important ones:

  • In medical research (for identification of pathogenic biomarkers)
  • In environmental science (for monitoring ecosystem health)
  • In forensic science (for analysis of DNA evidence) 

Labster has developed an immersive simulation that uses a crime scene scenario to teach students how to use DNA fingerprinting and gel electrophoresis to identify individuals.

Final thoughts

While students may be tech-savvy, educators need to adapt and incorporate technology in their teaching strategies to effectively engage and educate students on complex topics such as gel electrophoresis. The use of simulations, gamification, and interactive visual aids can make learning more fun and easier to comprehend for students.

It's important for educators to not only understand the technology themselves but also be willing to experiment and try new teaching methods to enhance the learning experience for students. As a small step but with a larger goal, Labster strives to design informative simulations like the one here that duly follow research-informed practices.

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and play the Gel Electrophoresis simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!


  1. Carreras, A., & Parés, N. (2009). Designing an interactive installation for children to experience abstract concepts. New Trends on Human–Computer Interaction: Research, Development, New Tools and Methods, 33-42.
  2. Sit, J. W., Chung, J. W., Chow, M. C., & Wong, T. K. (2005). Experiences of online learning: students’ perspective. Nurse education today, 25(2), 140-147.
  3. Peng, H., Yan, Z., Zeng, X., Zhang, S., Jiang, H., Huang, H., & Zhuo, H. (2019). Serum and tissue proteomic signatures of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma using 2‑D gel electrophoresis. Molecular Medicine Reports, 20(2), 1025-1038.

a man sitting in front of a computer monitor
Bring Science to Life
Immersive Learning Simulations

Labster helps universities and high schools enhance student success in STEM.

Request Demo

Discover The Most Immersive Digital Learning Platform.

Request a demo to discover how Labster helps high schools and universities enhance student success.

Request Demo