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semi-dry transfer vs wet transfer - (Feb/13/2004 )

I'm going to do western blot to detect a low abundance protein, PVDF membrane is my choice, but which transfer method is better?? and what are their limitation???


Hi there!

We're using both methods in our lab, so maybe I can give you some advice, though i can only tell you the difference between biorad's tank blots and biometra's semy-dry...

Each method has it's own pros and cons.

Semidry blotting is faster and easier, and reqires a lot less buffer volumes than tank blotting. Small Proteins (<20kDa) are transferred with better reproducibilty. Big proteins, however, do not transfer well in semidry blotting, and blotting of those is random at best, i.e. in some semidry blots you get big proteins on the membrane, sometimes you don't (same conditions!).

Tank blots transfer high molecular weight proteins (>60kDa) better than semi-dry, but more often than not some small proteins are blotted trough the membrane and are therefor lost for detection.

For the proteins I work with (25-35kDa) both methods work equally well, but I personally prefer the semi-dry blot, since I don't like wading though knee-deep in blotting buffer and preparing fresh buffer every other day. But for detection of BIG proteins (130kDa) I change to tank blots....



thanks Mike

I also have doubt on another issue. That's protein transfer through the membrane and reach filter paper...lost of target protein!!

Both semidry and tank blot encounter this problem??
I've experienced that large protein (the marker shpwed that) transfer through the membrane! Will tank blot also have this problem?? Also large protein???


Hi again!

Yes, blotting through the membrane can happen with both systems....

If that's your problem, try to shorten the blotting time and/or lower the used amperage/voltage... Do some test blots with your standard and observe when at which conditions the transfer for a given size of protein is best...



do wet everytime, it might be messy and use loads of buffer but it almost always gives better transfer


Hi, I don't know if this is helpful but I also tried both semi-dry and wet transfers only because I wasn't getting a good transfer and because I had really crappy (only available) antibodies for detection. If you aren't getting a good wet transfer adjust your methanol from 200 ml/1000 ml to 150 ml/1000 ml without altering your glycine. That was the trick that allowed mt to get the best wet transfer and was superior to the semi-dry. Hopefully, I will complete the manuscript and get it published soon.

-immune platelet-