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Int J Radiat Biol. 1994 Jul;66(1):23-8.

Modifications of alkaline microgel electrophoresis for sensitive detection of DNA damage.

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University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Seattle 98195.


The alkaline microgel electrophoresis technique was modified to achieve a substantial increase in sensitivity for the detection of radiation-induced DNA damage in human lymphocytes. This increased sensitivity was achieved through: (1) the addition of free radical scavengers to the electrophoresis solution to reduce DNA damage generated during alkaline unwinding and electrophoresis; (2) the modification of the electrophoresis unit to achieve a more uniform electric field; (3) the use of YOYO-1, a DNA dye, producing fluorescence 500-fold more intense than ethidium bromide; and (4) the introduction of an image analysis system for the quantitation of DNA migration. In addition to increasing sensitivity, these modifications have increased the speed with which observations can be quantified, and improved reproducibility from experiment to experiment. In human lymphocytes, these modifications have resulted in an increased sensitivity of several fold, allowing the detection of DNA damage in the range of 50 mGy. This increased sensitivity for the detection of DNA damage should extend the utility of this technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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