Difference Between Electrophoresis and Chromatography

Electrophoresis vs Chromatography

Electrophoresis and chromatography are the laboratory techniques, used on different matters of state that observe the behavior of molecules under different conditions to derive at the result and separation of mixtures. Both the techniques are used extensively in analyzing and separation of the components of a mixture. These techniques use two different mediums that can be described as static and mobile mediums, electrophoresis uses static current that is passed through one medium that affects the movement of other medium passing through it causing separation where as in chromatography the partition coefficient difference of different molecules of mobile medium causes the different molecule to separate at different places in static medium.


The description of the motion of the particles of a compound or an element in a medium that is under constant electric field is known as electrophoresis. This is also known as electokinetic phenomena and is caused due to electric field present between the charged particle of one medium and the charged medium. The most important part played by electrophoresis is in the extraction of DNA fragments according to its size. This technique of investigation is now extensively used for hereditary diseases. Gene mapping is another big area that utilizes electrophoresis.


The separation of a mixture that contains different compounds or elements is achieved by chromatography. The mobile phase is the mixture whose components are to be separated and is passed through a static mixture and due to the difference in partition coefficients of different compounds and elements, they get separated at different places in the static medium. Chromatography is a very important technology used in the processing of the human blood. Different components of blood are separated through chromatography for therapeutic use.

Difference between Electrophoresis and Chromatography

Both electrophoresis and chromatography are laboratory techniques but chromatography has more commercial use and is used for large volumes whereas electrophoresis is basically an investigative technique used on microscopic level. Chromatography can be used for liquid, solid and gaseous compounds whereas electrophoresis is generally carried out on liquid and solid compounds. In electrophoresis the electrical property of the element is used whereas in chromatography partition coefficient of the element is used to carry out the investigations and separation.


Electrophoresis and chromatography techniques have revolutionized the ways of investigations that are carried out in laboratories. They have provided a significant breakthrough in studying the DNA structure and in the detection of diseases associated with it. Electrophoresis has made DNA and gene mapping an easy task where as chromatography has provided humans with the freedom to use all the blood components efficiently.