Gel Drying Frames™
EMS Catalog #68510-14, 68510-24, 68511-14, 68511-24
Gel Drying Frames allow researchers to quickly and easily dry gels between two sheets of cellophane without the use of expensive heat/vacuum gel dryers. The 24 x 24 cm frames allow for drying of larger format gels, while the 14 x 14 cm frames are ideal for mini gels and other smaller formats.
Methacrylate embedding may be used for embedding mineralized or unmineralized specimens. Because of the large shrinkage that occurs during polymerization of methacrylates, direct embedding is not recommended for most biological tissues, and it is therefore partially polymerized methacrylate (or pre-polymerized) which is required.
Instructions for Use
1. Equilibrate gel in 20% ethanol/10% glycerol for at least 30 minutes prior to drying. This helps reduce swelling of the gel and results in a more flexible dried gel.
2. Place two cellophane sheets in water for one to two minutes to soften. Cellophane may appear cloudy, but will clear upon drying.
3. Lay one sheet of wet cellophane on the solid back plate, bevelled edge down. Be careful to avoid trapping air bubbles between the plate and the cellophane.
4. Place gel on the center of the cellophane, again avoid trapping air bubbles, which can cause gel cracking. Pipet a small amount (approximately 1-2 mls for minigels, several mls for larger gels) of ethanol/glycerol solution on top of the gel.
5. Layer a second sheet of wet cellophane over the gel, matching the edges of the cellophane with the edges of the backing plate. Rolling the cellophane from the bottom of the gel towards the wells helps avoid trapping air bubbles.
6. Place the open frame over the stack, matching the edges of the back plate, bevelled edge up. Be sure the frame covers all edges of the cellophane. Attach plastic clips to all four sides of the frame.
7. Leave the frame assembly to dry horizontally at room temperature. Most gels dry completely overnight.
8. Remove the clips and carefully pry apart the frame assembly. Peel the dried gel/cellophane sandwich from the back plate and trim off the excess cellophane with scissors. The edges of the cellophane which were between the frame pieces may remain slightly damp and will curl if not trimmed off immediately on disassembling the frame.