Course Title: Apply electrophoretic techniques

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: ONPS5662C

Course Title: Apply electrophoretic techniques

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5282 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Kirsten Balding

Phone: 9925 4283 (office hours)

Nominal Hours: 100

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

MSL973002A  - Prepare working solutions OR MSL974001A - Prepare, standardise and use solutions
MSL974003A   - Perform chemical tests and procedures.

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to analyse samples using electrophoretic techniques. The unit also includes establishing client needs for routine and non-routine samples, optimising enterprise procedures and instruments for specific samples, obtaining valid and reliable data and reporting test results. Personnel are required to recognise atypical test data/results and troubleshoot common analytical procedure and equipment problems.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975008A Apply electrophoretic techniques


1. Establish client needs and schedule analysis

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Liaise with client or sample provider to determine client needs and sample history
1.2. Record sample description, compare with specification and record and report discrepancies
1.3. Identify non-routine samples and the possible need to vary enterprise procedures
1.4. Seek advice from supervisor about any proposed variations and document all approved changes
1.5. Schedule analysis using enterprise procedures


2.    Prepare samples and standards

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Obtain a representative analytical portion of the laboratory sample
2.2. Prepare sample in accordance with testing requirements
2.3. Prepare validation checks for analytical portion


3.    Set up and optimise instrument

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with enterprise procedures
3.2. Start up and condition the instrument using enterprise procedures
3.3. Optimise instrumental parameters to suit sample and test requirements
3.4. Check calibration status of instrument and perform calibration using specified standards and procedures, if applicable


4.    Perform analysis

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Measure analyte response for standards, validation checks and samples
4.2. Conduct sufficient measurements to obtain reliable data
4.3. Return instruments to standby or shutdown condition as required


5.    Process and analyse data

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Confirm data is the result of valid measurements
5.2. Perform required calculations and ensure results are consistent with standards or estimations and expectations
5.3. Record results with the appropriate accuracy, precision and units
5.4. Analyse trends in data and/or results and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.5. Troubleshoot analytical procedure or equipment problems which have led to atypical data or results


6.    Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Identify risks, hazards, safety equipment and control measures associated with sample handling, preparation and analytical method
6.2. Use personal protective equipment and safety procedures specified for test method and materials to be tested
6.3. Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts
6.4. Ensure the safe disposal of laboratory wastes
6.5. Clean, care for and store equipment and consumables in accordance with enterprise procedures


7.    Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Enter approved data and results into laboratory information management system
7.2. Maintain equipment logs in accordance with enterprise procedures
7.3. Maintain security, integrity and traceability of samples and documentation
7.4. Communicate results to appropriate personnel

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Lab classes and Record keeping
Team meetings
Reports and Assignments
Online theory and quizzes

Teaching Schedule


Part 1 - DNA


 week THEORY
(at home)
 PRAC 4 HoursAssessment
10/21 Intro to Electrophoresis
**On campus class**
Lab 1 Prepare Solutions Calculations

No prac class this week

Quiz (in class)


17/221. Visualising DNA:
2. useful stains
3.. Molecular weight markers,
4. Gel concentrations
5. Traceability of results
Lab 2 Agarose Gels I: Frankenstein Gels - Separating DNA with different % gels.

Preparing solutions -  Agarose gel electrophoresis (calculations)



24/23Quantifying DNA using agarose electrophoresis and fluorimeter methods.Lab 3 Agarose Gels II How much & how pure is my DNA? (fluorimetry versus agarose gel determination)



2/34Which allele(s) of Alu is in your DNA?
How can you tell from the electrophoresis results?

Lab 4 Electrophorese Mol Gen
1. Alu PCR products gel electrophoresis

2. Pipetting Workshop
Refresher: forward and reverse pipetting
Multichannel pipettes
Validation of pipetting



9/35 Electrophoresis of RNA (Northern Blotting); Electrophoresis of Genomic DNAs (Pulsed field gel electrophoresis, Southern Blotting)  Lab 5

Prac report 1: in class activity:
Annotate a gel photo and enter results data and analysis

Prac report 1 due – do and submit in class


16/36Intro to DNA sequencing & Capillary ElectrophoresisDNA sequencing: AGRF fieldtrip (To be confirmed) Quiz
21/37aRevision (at home) no lab/ Logbook/Labskills Assessment catch up
(Wednesday before Easter)
30/37bStudent vacation
Easter - no class 
4/48Exam week  Exam 1
 13/4 9Protein Electrophoresis Types of gels: agarose, cellulose acetate, SDS-PAGE & MW calculations.Lab 6
1. Prepare solutions for protein agarose gel & SDS- PAGE.
2. Agarose Gel Electrophoresis of Serum Proteins (SPE) (Helena Labs*)



 20/4 10 Intro to SDS-PAGE,
Calc size of proteins using SDS-PAGE
  Lab 7
Protein Agarose Electrophoresis of Serum Haemoglobins (HbE) (Helena Labs*)



 27/411SDS-PAGE  Lab 8
SDS-PAGE of Albumin and Ovalbumin
(Separate proteins by size).
Prac Report 2)


Prac Report 2 - Lab component
SDS-PAGE of Albumin

4/512SDS-PAGE prep for labLab 9
1. Record results from last week
2. Prac report 2 - in class activity:
Annotate a gel photo, analyse and report results.




Prac Report 2 -analysis/results
SDS-PAGE of Albumin

 11/513SDS-PAGE prep for labLab 10
SDS-PAGE of Fish Proteins.




Lab 11

Western Transfer and Blot of Fish Proteins. (BioRad*)


(prac report due)
Logbook/Labskiills final assessment

 25/515 REVISION at homeLogbook/ Labskills Assessment catchup as neededLogbook/Labskiills catchup assessment
 1/616 Exam Week    Exam 2Exam 2
8/6 Alternative assessments (Special consideration only)  
   * To be confirmed  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Lab Manual - Term 1 (DNA)
Lab Manual - Term 2 (Protein)
Both Lab manuals are available from the course Blackboard. Please print the manual in time for the week 1 class. Print the whole manual at the start of the semester - bring it to class each week so you have the instructions for each experiment. The Term 2 Manual will be available towards the beginning of term 2.

Resources available on Blackboard for this course


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:

  • Class activities
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Exams
  • Online Quizzes
  • Logbook records of experiments

Assessment Tasks


Assessment 1. Theory
a. Weekly Quizzes 10% (best 10 grades count @ 2% each) There is a quiz most weeks. Due on Blackboard.
b. 2 Theory Exams 25% + 25% = 50% Week of 4/4/16 and Week of 30/5/16

Assessment 2. Prac Reports
1: Agarose Electrophoresis of DNA 15%
Lab: 24/2/16 & 2/3/16 (choose lab 3 or 4)

2. 2: SDS-PAGE of Albumin 15%
Lab 8:  27/4/16

Assessment 3. Logbook and Lab Skills Record
10% logbook and satisfactory Labskills (satisfactory records kept/participation for at least 80% of lab classes)
Use the self assessment checklist to see if you have completed the record, then get it assessed within 2 weeks of the class. To be considered satisfactory each record will be assessed against the checklist and signed off by the supervisor on the central logbook checklist sheet.
There will be a mid-semester review of logbook and lab skills followed by a final assessment (16/5/16)

Total     100%        

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Time Allowance for this course
The 100 nominal hours for this unit are allocated as follows:

Theory at home = 17hrs
10 online weekly quizzes = 15hrs
revision at home = 10hrs
exams 1& 2 = 4hrs
lab = 43hrs
fieldtrip = 4hrs
report write ups = 7hrs
Total Hours = 100

This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also utilises graded assessment
CHD Competent with High Distinction (80 – 100%)
CDI Competent with Distinction (60 – 79%)
CC Competent with Credit (50 – 59%)
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded (0 – 49%)
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

Assessment information

  • All assessment types must be passed (exams, prac, and assignments etc.). For example, if there are two tests you need to have an average of 50% to pass. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the tests but fail the prac component).
  • Attendance at practical classes is compulsory. A minimum of 80% attendance is required to pass this course. If you are sick you should submit a medical certificate to 6th floor office addressed to the Program Coordinator
  • Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.
  • APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK- A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available online at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51, or emailed to the Coordinator (
  • Students requiring extensions longer than 7 days must apply for Special Consideration (see the ‘Help me’ link in blackboard, via myRMIT studies or For missed assessments such as exams - you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence (e.g. medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.
  • If you miss an assessment task due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame.If you miss a prac class you must provide a copy of your medical certificate or other evidence (court appearance, funeral notice, statutory declaration) to the teacher.




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