Gels keep cracking

Richard V. Giles giles at
Sat Nov 28 05:46:11 EST 1998

"S. McKay" wrote:
> Hi,
>         I've been having some problems drying mini-gels.  I'm using 14%
> SDS-PAG to separate my protein (which is 35S-labelled).  Following this I
> have been fixing the gels in 7% Acetic Acid for 20', rinsing in dH2O and
> then an amplification step using 0.5M Salicylic Acid for 20'.  The gels are
> then dried onto Whatmans 3mm Chromatography Paper under vaccum and heat on
> a BioRad Gel Slab Dryer for 1.5hrs.  Less time than this and the centre of
> the gels do not dry.  Unfortunately, I've been experiencing severe cracking
> problems with the gels which is obviously unacceptable.
>         I am aware that the salicylic acid will remove much of the moisture
> from the gel but 1.5hrs seems a long time.
>         I've also tried  using the 0.5M Salicylic Acid combined with 2%
> glycerol but this makes no difference and if anything the cracking is
> worse.
>         This has become a very frustrating problem and any suggestions you
> could make would be very much appreciated.
> S.McKay

I'd up the glycerol content to 10%.

In the past when we've dried SDS PA gels the final step was 5% acetic
acid, 10% glycerol. No cracks when dried as you have described. Don't
know how the 0.5M salicylic acid would interact with this though...

Richard V. Giles Ph.D.
School of Biological Sciences
University of Liverpool
Tel +44/151 794 4389
Fax +44/151 794 4349

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