small volume dialysis

Leemor Joshua-Tor leemor at CSHL.ORG
Tue Nov 12 18:09:17 EST 1996

>In article <009AB424.1AC6CEA0.10 at UFCC.UFL.EDU>, kewugator at UFCC.UFL.EDU wrote:
>> Hi, there:
>> I am going to dialysis some proteins (30 KDa) in very small volume (20 ul).
>> Any body has any idea that how can I have a good recovery of the
>>proteins and
>> what kind of dialysis apparatus can be used to get the maximum recovery
>of the
>> proteins.
>> Thanks.
>>                                                 Ke Wu
>Dialysis buttons would be the best in this case I think.  You can get them
>in a range of sizes from
>5 micro liters to ~500 micro liters I think.  Unfortunately I don't know
>who supplies them.
>Good Luck..

   You can find the buttons through Hampton Research. They normally sell
stuff for crystallization but they sell these dialysis buttons.
Check out their home page:

However, Ron Tate wrote:

>I posted this suggestion a month or so ago also, BioTechniques published
>a way to do this last year, Vol. 19, No.2 (1995) (I don't have the page
>number) the article was titled "Waterbug Dialysis".  It involved cutting
>the top portion off of a microfuge tube and closing a piece of dialysis
>membrane in the lid with your sample inside the lid and then floating
>the thing in a beaker of buffer.  Its one of those "Why didn't I think
>of that" kind of ideas.
>If you don't have access to back issues of BioTechniques they are online
>with their back issues and a searchable d-base.
>Happy Hunting

We use this method often for very small volumes and it works well.
Another way of making the hole in the tube cap is by using a hot
glass rod, the hole is less sharp and less likely to puncture your
dialysis membrane.

                                        good luck,

  Leemor Joshua-Tor, Ph.D.
  Assistant Investigator
  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory           Tel. (516) 367 8821
  1 Bungtown Road                         Fax  (516) 367 8873
  Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724            e-mail: leemor at

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