Why does my rabbit serum "gel"?

Thomas R. Anderson babco at ix.netcom.com
Fri Apr 10 00:15:29 EST 1998

In <6gfddu$knr at metro.usyd.edu.au> Phil Robinson
<"phrobins"@(delete_me)postbox.usyd.edu.au> writes: 
>When we bleed a rabbit we sit the blood in a falcon tube for 1-4 hrs,
>then put it in the cold room overnight.  In the morning we gently remove
>the clotted cells.  However, when we spin the serum to clean up the
>debris the serum occasionally "gels", meaning we lose two thirds of our
>precious serum as it is now  like a ball of soft acrylamide.  People I
>ask have never experienced this.  However I have seen it many times over
>10 years.  We tried several different types of plastic and glass tubes.
>Currently we have one rabbit (our best one of course) where it occurs on
>every bleed.
>Any ideas on what is going on? How to prevent this? How to dissolve the
>serum clot?
>Help or advice would be appreciated.
>Phil Robinson,          Sydney
I don't know why that sometime happens, or why it seems to be rabbit
specific, but we have seen the same thing from time to time.  We can
get get rid of the "gel" to a large degree by sticking the wooden stick
from a single-tipped cotton swab into the gel, pressing the stick to
the side of the tube, and gently twirling the stick between your
fingers and thumb while pressing it to the side of the tube.  The
fibrin in the gel will gradually wind itself around the stick, pressing
out most of the serum, increasing the yield.
Best of luck.
Tom Anderson

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