Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP or SPE) is a laboratory test that examines specific proteins in the blood called globulins. Blood must first be collected, usually into an airtight vial or syringe. Electrophoresis is a laboratory technique in which the blood serum (the fluid portion of the blood after the blood has clotted) is placed into a gel, or into liquid in a capillary tube, and exposed to an electric current to separate the serum protein components into five major fractions by size and electrical charge: serum albumin, alpha-1 globulins, alpha-2 globulins, beta globulins, and gamma globulins.
Positions of major serum proteins in a normal person using electrophoresis in agarose (image)
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