Gel leaks (was Salt Gradient Gels)

Patricia Foster pfoster at
Sun Jun 27 12:38:46 EST 1993

   Leaking sequencing gels is something I have had *years* of experience
with!  My current method which works very well is to seal the plates with
Scotch 3M tape (purchased at an outrageous price from BRL -- anyone know
of a better supplier?) very carefully using nice hospital corners.  Two
layers on the bottom.  No clamps.  Tip the plates at about a 60o angle,
using some box to stabilize (i.e. pipette tip box).  Start feeding
the acrylamide from a 50 ml syringe with a pipette tip from one corner
so that the acrylamide fills from one bottom corner.  Slowly lower the
plates to keep the acrylamide moving smoothly up at an angle, finally 
ending flat.  But in the comb and walk away.
   With the plates flat there is little tendancy for the acrylamide to
leak.  Oh yes -- no bottom spacer and no clamps except to hold the comb in.
This method works best with eared plates, but I build a barrier at the
top with the little sealer that comes with non-eared plates.
Patricia L. Foster
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA USA
pfoster at

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