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Pre-Making your own polyacrylamide gels - Short term storage options (Aug/29/2009 )

Protein Peeps,

I have heard of people making a few weeks worth of gels and storing them in the fridge for use when necessary. To avoid wasting time waiting for gels to polymerize I have moved from making them fresh to making them a day in advance. I wrap the gels comb in with saran wrap and throw them out if I haven't used them by day 3. As many have attested, letting the gels (stacking/separating) sit in the fridge causes the pH gradients to mix and the resolution to be poor, but I haven't noticed any problems after two days. I have read in other posts that people will store the separating gel and then when needed will pour the stacking, but this seems inferior to a whole gel ready product.


How do pre-made gels have such a long shelf life and is there any way to enjoy the luxury without having to spend top dollar? Has anybody had any experience with storing gels for any given period of time and had good results?

All comments appreciated and hopefully will lead to on demand gels for all!

-jjman-

I have been told that preparing gels at least a day early and then putting them in the fridge will actually give you better resolution because it gives the gels time to completely polymerise.
I think the precast gels contain preservatives that help them last longer but I wouldn't have a clue what is specifically used

-sitting_at _the _AKTA-

I think the best is to prepare only separating gel and store in a wet chamber at 4C (you can easily make puring lower buffer in a plastic box, and put your gels inside, over a platform, and cover). If the gels don't dry, you can use them after long time. Indeed there is a kind of cassettes were you can prepare 10 mini-gels at a time...so you can prepare a lot, and use later when needed.
In any case, I also have used gels polimerised a couple of days before and I never had any problem.


jjman on Aug 30 2009, 07:27 AM said:

Protein Peeps,

I have heard of people making a few weeks worth of gels and storing them in the fridge for use when necessary. To avoid wasting time waiting for gels to polymerize I have moved from making them fresh to making them a day in advance. I wrap the gels comb in with saran wrap and throw them out if I haven't used them by day 3. As many have attested, letting the gels (stacking/separating) sit in the fridge causes the pH gradients to mix and the resolution to be poor, but I haven't noticed any problems after two days. I have read in other posts that people will store the separating gel and then when needed will pour the stacking, but this seems inferior to a whole gel ready product.


How do pre-made gels have such a long shelf life and is there any way to enjoy the luxury without having to spend top dollar? Has anybody had any experience with storing gels for any given period of time and had good results?

All comments appreciated and hopefully will lead to on demand gels for all!

-PiDC-

PiDC on Sep 1 2009, 11:01 AM said:

I think the best is to prepare only separating gel and store in a wet chamber at 4C (you can easily make puring lower buffer in a plastic box, and put your gels inside, over a platform, and cover). If the gels don't dry, you can use them after long time. Indeed there is a kind of cassettes were you can prepare 10 mini-gels at a time...so you can prepare a lot, and use later when needed.
In any case, I also have used gels polimerised a couple of days before and I never had any problem.


jjman on Aug 30 2009, 07:27 AM said:

Protein Peeps,

I have heard of people making a few weeks worth of gels and storing them in the fridge for use when necessary. To avoid wasting time waiting for gels to polymerize I have moved from making them fresh to making them a day in advance. I wrap the gels comb in with saran wrap and throw them out if I haven't used them by day 3. As many have attested, letting the gels (stacking/separating) sit in the fridge causes the pH gradients to mix and the resolution to be poor, but I haven't noticed any problems after two days. I have read in other posts that people will store the separating gel and then when needed will pour the stacking, but this seems inferior to a whole gel ready product.


How do pre-made gels have such a long shelf life and is there any way to enjoy the luxury without having to spend top dollar? Has anybody had any experience with storing gels for any given period of time and had good results?

All comments appreciated and hopefully will lead to on demand gels for all!




I used to prepare 12-24 minigels at one time (gel only, no stacking) and store comb-free submerged in PBS at 4C for several weeks-months, without any problem. When I needed to run a gel, I would remove from PBS, wash the wells with dH2O, pour a fresh stacking gel and run.

-Dr Teeth-

I cast both stacking and separating gel one day before the run and the results are usually good. I stored the gel in running buffer at 4C. No problem with the gel for up to 1 week of storage. For even longer storage, cast the spearating gel only and prepare stacking gel fresh.

-Nrelo-