Loading an agarose gel can be a messy task if you don't have a very steady hand. Here are a few quick tips to making it easier to see where you're working and neatly load your samples:
- Put the gel apparatus on a dark surface (black countertop works great) or put a piece of brightly colored tape beneath the wells, in order to increase their visibility
- Turn the gel apparatus so that the wells are aligned perpendicular to the edge of the benchtop (i.e. in a line going away from you).
- Add the sample by holding your pipettor in one hand and supporting it with the other, aiming it directly away from you, in line with the length of the well. This helps prevent stabbing the gel on the edge of the wells, with the tip.
- Use the smallest pipette tips you can, for your sample size, and set the pipettor to pick up only the volume of sample you have/want. Smaller tips make it easier to navigate the tiny wells, and setting the volume prevents picking up air which disturbs the sample if released in a bubble that then floats to the top.
- Add the sample slowly and smoothly to avoid forceful "squirts" that might push sample out of the well.