nitro-cellulose - baking without a vacuum?

Andrew Hobbs andrewh at
Thu Jul 29 21:21:20 EST 1993

Mr P.C. Ferrett (pcf at wrote:

: I would like to bake DNA and RNA fragments onto nitro-cellulose
: paper.  However, I do not have ready access to a vacuum oven. 
: Does anyone know what purpose the vacuum serves i.e. is it
: possible to bake the NC paper in a normal oven?  If this is
: not possible, does anyone know of any alternatives to baking
: DNA or RNA onto NC paper (I prefer to use NC rather than
: nylon for the particular task I am doning). 

: all suggestions gratefully accepted, 
: Peter Ferrett


We used to use NC and after transfer, bake in a normal oven at about 60
C (in air).  It seemed to work fine.  I presume the vacuum is to
prevent the NC from oxidizing, becoming brittle, charring or bursting
into flames.  In fact I have used NC filters without baking but that had
been left for a several days and had dried out very thoroughly. 

I don't think you can UV irradiate NC since I guess there is a fire
hazard but I haven't actually tried this (although it is stated in
several text books.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Hobbs
University of Western Australia

andrewh at

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