Glycerol PAGE "toughening"

Warren Gallin wgallin at
Wed Jun 16 14:35:42 EST 1999

In Article <7k8mat$q7k$1 at>, stebby at wrote:
>In article <NewsReader.1.0.199961266214222832 at>,
>  Daniel Kim <dkim at> wrote:
>> Years ago, I heard incidentally that adding glycerol to SDS-PAGE mix will
>> result in a gel that is physically more durable.  I cannot remember the
>> however.
>> Can anyone tell me whether this is true?  What concentration of glycerol
>> is necessary?  What effect will this have on the running/blotting properties
>> of the gel?
>Hi Daniel.
>I can't address the question of truth, but the lab I post-doc'd in
>routinely used 5% glycerol in the separating gel and it certainly didn't
>hurt.  I've continued this "tradition" in my work for the last 7 years
>for consistency if nothing else.  As I recall in a side by side
>comparison my first few weeks in the new lab I noticed slightly tighter
>bands in coomassie stained gels containing the glycerol.  I'll avoid the
>obvious jokes and simply say that I don't recall them being "tougher".

    Adding glycerol or sucrose to the separating gel mix will make it much
easier to layer water on top of it to level out the upper surface.  It is
not necessary, but you will get less mixing of the overlay and the gel, so
later, when the stacker is poured on top, the interface between the two is a
little sharper.  That could contribute to a slightly sharper band.
    I couldn't comment on whether there are other effects.

Warren Gallin
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton,  Alberta     T6G 2E9
wgallin at

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