bio-rad mini-protean III comments

A.F. Simpson AFS7 at
Thu May 11 14:52:17 EST 2000

Kevin Morano wrote:
> I'm setting up a new lab this year and am considering switching to
> Bio-Rad's new model III minigel units, having used their model IIs for
> quite some time.  I have two main concerns:

If you aren't constrained to buying Bio-Rad, I would suggest considering
the Gibco-BRL Mini-V 8*10  tank.  I switched from the Bio-Rad
mini-protean II and much preferred the Gibco.

The bast feature from my POV was the casting.  Instead of a fiddly
casting rig the plates are clipped together with bulldog clips and
sealed at the bottom with an agarose plug.  That's it - ready to pour as
soon as the agarose has set (about 30 seconds).

This also means that multiple gels can be cast easily.  Another set of
gels can be ready to drop into the tank as soon as the first pair have
finished running.

The only drawback to the tanks I found is that a couple of the plastic
parts are a bit more fragile than the Bio-Rad tanks.  If they are going
to be handled a lot by, for example, inexperienced undergraduates,
replacements could get pricy.  However, this applies to the western
blotting part of the apparatus rather than the PAGE part.  In addition,
the electrodes themselves are more robust than the thin wires in the
Bio-Rad tanks.

> 2)The IIIs use glass plates with integrated spacers  - are the plates
> better quality than those sold with the IIs, which in my hands break all
> the time?

Two of the biggest advantages of the Gibco tank is that that plates are
thicker, and they can still be used without any problem even if they are
quite heavily chipped.

> Kevin Morano


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