Cracked PAGE gels

Fri Sep 25 08:55:52 EST 1992


We currently only have access to a water pump (i.e. one attached to a tap)
for drying down acrylamide gels, and we have serious problems with cracked
gels - sometimes.  It seems to be completely random whether or not a
particular gel cracks (well, not quite, it's always the important ones that
crack :-( ).  Does anyone have a sure-fire, "guaranteed" protocol for
success without laying out for a proper pump (we impoverished British have
enough problems finding money for important things such as lab stereos,
without forking out for luxuries).

Our current protocol (for 15% gels) is, after stain/destain, to soak in
several changes of 25% Methanol, 10% Acetic Acid, 1% Glycerol, gently lay
the gel on pre-wetted filter paper, apply vacuum, and go though the slow
heating cycle (1 degree C per minute) to 80.  Stopping at 60 doesn't seem to

My immediate thought is that the vacuum isn't strong enough, and if no-one
can come up with a better pre-drying solution, maybe we'll just have to give
up on that lab hi-fi.  Can anyone help?

Robin Walters                      Robert Hill Institute
                                   University of Sheffield
BI1RGW at IBM.SHEF.AC.UK              P.O. Box 594
                                   Sheffield S10 2UH.
+44 (0)742 768555 X4244            UK

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