alternative to Whatman 3MM paper for drying down gels?

Liam E Good lgood at
Thu Feb 10 14:09:16 EST 1994

On 9 Feb 1994, Song Tan wrote:

> In article <Rasmussen-080294114008 at>
> Rasmussen at (Randy P. Rasmussen) writes:
> >In article <2j5ivn$jit at>, tan at (Song Tan)
> >wrote:
> >
> >>      Does anyone have any suggestions for cheaper alternatives to Whatman
> >> 3MMChr (commonly known as 3MM) paper for drying sequencing and bandshift gels? 

Sure,  I think that several types of heavy commercial paper would work
well.  For several years we have been using Domtar Buvard Commercial
Blotting Paper.  It comes in 80lb boxes that we order through the
companies that provide office stationary stuff.  I don't know what it is
normally used for (not the kind of blotting that we do, I'm sure), but it
works great for lifting and drying gels.


> >
> >Why don't you try gluing your gels to one of the glass plates (Garoff and
> >Ansorge, Analytical Biochemistry 115, 450-457, 1981).  
>      [details of gluing gels to plate deleted]
> Unfortunately, we use 50x20 cm sequencing glass plates and our X-ray cassettes
> are only 43 cm long.  We slice off the top 10 cm of the gel since there's never
> any readable sequence at the top anyway.  Gluing the gels to the plates would
> pose a problem when it's time to expose the gels in the cassettes (glass plates
> won't fit into the cassettes.  we could use other containers to expose the
> gels, but we like using the cassettes).  Nevertheless, many thanks for your
> response, Randy.  I'm sure it will come in useful in the future.  
> What I was really hoping for was some other source or kind of filter paper as a
> substitute for 3MM.  It seems a little silly to me that we're using "high"
> quality chromatography paper to dry down gels.  True, it works and perhaps we
> shouldn't mess with a good thing.  Frances Hannan's posting of using the paper
> between X-ray films does sound promising, but I would still be interested in
> hearing from anyone with other ideas.
> Thanks, everyone!   
> Song Tan
> Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics
> ETH-Honggerberg (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
> 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
> email:  tan at

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