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Gel storage and drying procedures

Gel drying

Gels must be dried before autoradiography or for permanent storage.

  • To dry Coomassie- or silver stained gels, they are first soaked for 0.5-2 hours in glycerol, sorbitol, other polyols or polyethyleneglycol.
  • Horizontal, 0.5 mm thin SDS gels on plastic backing are usually impregnated in 30% glycerol for 30 min, air-dried for 2-3 hours and sealed in a plastic bag.

  • Vertical slab gels without plastic backing are soaked in 2-3% glycerol for several hours, laid on cellophane (for scanning), or filter paper (for autoradiography), covered with cellophane and dried using a vacuum gel dryer for 45 minutes at 80C.
  • Problems with gel swelling or shrinking during fixing, staining and drying are usually encountered with gels not polymerized onto plastic backing!


Gel storage

To store gels between Imaging and Spot excision it is recommended to remove the glycerine first - in order to avoid microbial growth. (Glycerol is one the best growth media).

  • To do this, soak the gel in 10% EtOH (+1% Acetic acid) for 30 minutes and
  • seal the wet gel in a plastc bag. ZipLoc or those for overhead projection are fine.
  • Store the gel at 4C until spot processing

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