slicing acrylamide gels

Eric Kofoid kofoid at
Thu Jun 20 12:12:23 EST 1996

In article <4q6j8t$dme at>, g.j.e.j.hooiveld at
(Guido Hooiveld) wrote:

-The situation is this:
-After labeling proteins with a radioactive photolabile probe, I seperate 
-those proteins on a 7.5% gel (12x18cm, SDS-PAGE). But hereafter, I would 
-like to cut my acrylamide gel in thin slices of about 2mm, because in this 
-way I can identify the molecular weights of possible labeled proteins.
-Does anybody know a nice gentle and especially reproducible way to cut a gel 
-in pieces, or, does anybody know which companies sell holders for razor 
-blades, designed for this purpose??
-Any ideas or suggestions would be very appreciated.
-Please post here or send an e-mail directly to:
-g.j.e.j.hooiveld at
-Thanks in advance!

I had exactly the same problem early in my career. 

I constructed a stack of single edged razor blades as follows: 

Cut spacers from some appropriate plastic or cardboard material twice as
thick or more than the clading on one side of the "handle" of a blade.
Make them as long as a blade with a height extending from the bottom of
the handle past the hole to within 2 mm or so of the cutting edge. Bore a
hole in the middle of each and form a sandwich of alternating blades and
spacers. Pass a bolt through the holes with a washer at each end and
tighten it down with a nut. 

To use, position the stack over a piece of gel, place a block of plexiglas
or wood on top and tap lightly with a rubber mallet or similar object.
Remove slices with watchmaker's forceps. Clean with running water. Use
stainless steel blades to avoid rust.

I used this tool for years with excellent results!



Eric Kofoid        Dept.Biology, U.Utah       kofoid at

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