It may surprise many to learn that electrophoresis isn’t exactly new. In fact, the separation technique was first developed for use by scientists way back in 1807. Since then, researchers, chemists, and technicians have utilized electrophoresis to separate different charged particles with the use of an electric field. This can be used in the analysis of everything from DNA samples to pesticides and environmental pollutants. Over the last couple of centuries, the process has become more and more sophisticated and advancements are frequently being made.
The First Magnetic Stirrer
The first magnetic stirrer was patented by Richard Stringham of Utah in 1917. The inventor nicknamed the stir bar a “Flea” because of the way it jumped and spun in the flask. Even after a Century of technological advancement, today’s lab stirrers still resemble the original design. An electrical field under the base plate oscillates causing the magnetic stir bar to spin.
The stirrer quickly evolved once it hit the market. Integration with a hotplate was a bold step towards laboratory automation.