Write A Serum Protein Electrophoresis Report - Understand

Course Work - Serum Protein Electrophoresis Report

General Instructions

Please attend the timetabled practical session
Follow the presentation on Learning Zone
Familiarise yourself with the background, principle and methodology given in the handbook; Do extra reading to explore more particularly on the background and significance on the technique and its applications
Familiarise yourself with the marking criteria for the assessment components

Background information and Aims of the Session

What is Serum?

What is Serum Protein Electrophoresis (SPE)?

Where and when is SPE used?

Aims of the session

  • Understand the difference between serum and plasma
  • Understand the principle of serum protein electrophoresis
  • Perform serum protein electrophoresis of the given serum sample (4-5 students per group)
  • Evaluate and be able to interpret the results


Standard serum (Sigma H4522; undiluted)

For Electrophoresis and staining

Helena SAS-MX SP kit (Helena laboratories; catalogue number: 100100)
Electrophoresis equipment; Tris/Barbital running buffer; Gel tank; Power supply
Acid blue stain; Destain; Methanol to fix the gel
Purified water to make up buffers

The background, aims and materials & methods of serum protein electrophoresis are available in the handbook. After the practical session, you will have your gel image (image-1) containing the protein bands of your standard serum sample. In addition, you will be given a gel image of a serum protein electrophoresis of a patient sample (image-2). You are expected to understand the background, understand the aims, materials & methods and use the published literature and text books to write the ‘results, discussion and conclusion for the laboratory report` (for details please read below).

Suggested word count - approximately 200-300 words;

Write up - In this section you need to present and describe the findings from your gel. Remember to comment on & describe the appearance, migration pattern of different bands of your standard serum sample (image-1).

Figure - gel image-1 - Make sure you label all the bands, give a title and add a legend to the figure.

Discussion and conclusion

Suggested word count - approximately 700-800 words;

In this section, you will successfully relate the findings from your gel (image-1) elaborate on your reasoning by showing how the principle behind the experiment provides an explanation for the results and also of the additional SPE gel image (image-2) that is provided; Compare and contrast the two images (1 & 2). You should also sufficiently address other possible issues pertinent to this experiment; Evaluate the strengths and limitations of the experiment; Finish this section by writing a conclusion including a summary of the findings and sensible suggestions for possible future experiments.

List any reference you may have used for your write up. The references should be published literature or textbooks. Do not cite the practical handbook, presentation slides or any web-sites other than NHS websites or other diagnostic clinical laboratory web-sites. Use the Harvard (Cite them right) referencing format, details can

You have a word limit of 1000 for this laboratory report. Figure legends and references are excluded from the word count. Use Calibri font size 11 or equivalent.

Course Work Submission, deadline & support

Submission & deadline

Component: For the course work, students will write a "Serum protein electrophoresis report" (~1000 words; 100 marks)