sticky sequencing gel

Fri Jun 16 10:47:26 EST 1995

Ethan Strauss wrote:

[has sequencing gel stuck to film and can't get it off]...

> I now have the gel
(with a few minor rips) under saran wrap again. What should I do?????
Can I expose the sticky gel to the film and then wash the gel
stuck to the film off before developing?
A few notes: It is fairly humid here. I did not fix the gel.

Yes, you can solve the immediate problem by rehydrating the gel in
a water bath in the dark room.  It will unstick and float off the
film.  The film can then be developed.  This is probably a one
shot attempt to save your data, since the gel is usually too
torn up to fish it out of the bath and re expose it.  Also,
I advise you to use manual development rather than a developer
machine; because if you get gel fragments into the machine, they
will gum it up.

Don't try to peel the stuck gel directly off of the film.  Even
if you get it off, it will cause a background pattern to develop
on the film that will obscure your data.

In future, never put film on a gel that feels sticky to the touch. You
can put it back in the fixative, or a water bath, or put baby powder
on it, or dry it more.  You can get an S35 signal through Saran wrap;
but it will be attenuated some.  Depending on how bright it was to
start with, and probably also on the thickness of the wrap, this
solution may work for you or not.   Also note that even after the gel
is dried, if you get water on it and then put the film on, it's  going
to stick like glue.  Also, it may be possible to rehydrate enough from
humid air for it to stick, even if it was dry in the first place.  So
test it by touch right before you put the film on; and don't dally 
between the gel dryer and the dark room.

I hope you save your film.

Steve Hardies, Assoc. Prof. of Biochem., Univ. of Texas HSC at San
Hardies at

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