suggestions for new PAGE apparatus

Jayakumar, R R.Jayakumar at
Wed Aug 3 16:53:37 EST 2005

Hi.. I can see a lot of frustration directed at BioRad here.. :-))  I
too had problems earlier with Protean 2.  After much trials and carefull
observation I found the problem and after that the plates have probably
leaked only 2-3 times in the past 3 years.  The leak is most often due
to the following reasons.  This is with my experience using mini protean
2 as well as the larger protein xi. 
  1.  The bottom of the spacers don't exactly align with the plate edges
(run your finger through it check whether the spacer is flush with the
glass edges).  Gel solutions can diffuse out through these spaces.
  2.  Glass plates often develop very small nicks and crack at the edges
due to use or due knocking against each other while washing.  The gel
solution seeps out through these tiny nicks.  Run a finger over the
edges to ensure that the edges are perfectly smooth. 
  3. Also check whether there is any solidified acrylamide sticking
between the spacers (to avoid this, clean and flush the casting
apparatus thoroughly under the tap IMMEDIATELY after use).  Solidified
pieces of acrylamide can easily protrude between the spacers and the
glass causing the solution to leak.
   4. These solidified pieces of acrylamide can also cause the glass
plates to crack when the screws are tightened.  I have cut down on glass
breakage by more than 2/3rd by following a strict washing routine.  
  These will ensure a sure leak proof system and many more years of
happy casting experiences. 
   5. Also if the gel casting holders don't snap into place, change the
red foam pads (you can buy them separately from Biorad and stick them
into place). They get crushed with repeated use.  Alternatively you can
try placing pads of whatman no3 paper between the red foam pad and the
grey cushion. 

Best of luck

PS>  I haven't found a better SDS-PAGE apparatus yet than bio-rad.  

-----Original Message-----
From: methods-bounces at
[mailto:methods-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dr. James J.
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:52 AM
To: methods at
Subject: suggestions for new PAGE apparatus
Importance: High

Hi everyone,

I am in the market to buy a new PAGE set-up. I refuse to buy Biorad
I have been burnt by their low quality equipment before. We have begun 
pouring a large number of gels, and  I am sick of wasting half my time
trying to keep the casting system from leaking even as I'm pouring my
There has to be something better out there than Biorad. I would like 
recommendations on which company's apparatus will allow me to pour my
every time without leakage.

Thanks for the help,


James J. Campanella,
Associate Professor
Department of Biology and Molecular Biology
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043

Alternate email address: jcamp at

Ph: 973-655-4097
Fax: 419-791-9834 

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