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Mr_Saturn512's avatar

How long can I leave this 1% agarose gel out in room temperature before electrophoresis?

Asked by Mr_Saturn512 (558points) April 7th, 2015

My boss and I are doing an experiment with gel electrophoresis. The thing is, he’s horrible at time management and I don’t even know if he’ll be back before I leave work.

We already cast the agarose gel and it’s good to go. I was thinking of removing the combs and submerging the gel in TAE buffer at least while he’s away. But he’s experimenting with these different types of combs to place in the gel. I don’t want to mess it up with my unsteady hands. I’m also not sure if he has anything else in mind to do. Is it okay that the gel is lying there in the cast at room temperature? How long would it take to dry? Also as information – it’s not mixed with EtBr, we put Green View dye instead, if that makes any difference. We put a lot – like 20uL.

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2 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

From surfing around, it looks like the gel will last several weeks at room temperature without drying out. I couldn’t find anything that indicated that which dye is used matters, but I doubt it.

BhacSsylan's avatar

That’s not true if it’s in the caster, a gel will last several hours but not more than a day before it gets rubbery and probably won’t work anymore. However, if your caster will work with this, i suggest adding some buffer on top. A layer of buffer over the gel should keep it good for a while. Can’t say how long, but probably into tomorrow. Beyond that, I’d say just recast it.

However, I will say I’ve never used Green View, just EtBr, so that could make a difference if it’s prone to degrade. But if you keep in in the caster it should’t go anywhere. If it’s going to be a long time I wouldn’t suggest moving it to the gel box, since submerging it in that much buffer could allow the dye to diffuse away.

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