Today many labs depend on the convenience and consistency provided by commercially available, ready-to-use, precast protein gels. Technological advances in buffer formulations and gel polymerization methods have enabled manufacturers to produce precast gels—even gradient gels—with greater uniformity than ever before. Moreover, the use of precast gels means less exposure to the acrylamide monomer (a known neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen) for the bench scientist.
The next generation of precast protein gels
Based on traditional Laemmli protein electrophoresis, the Invitrogen™ Novex™ WedgeWell™ precast protein gels (Figure 1) include innovations in both chemistry and design that produce:
Improved shelf life—store gels for up to 12 months at 4°C
Increased sample capacity—easily load up to 60 μL of sample per well
Reliable protein detection—obtain exceptional protein band resolution and sharpness
Fast run conditions—quickly separate proteins using constant voltage in less than 60 minutes
More flexibility in experimental design—gels can be used to run native or denatured protein samples
Figure 1. The Novex WedgeWell precast protein gel system. Each Novex™ WedgeWell™ Welcome Pack includes a Mini Gel Tank, two boxes of Novex WedgeWell precast gels (20 total), sample and running buffers, reducing agent, and two vials of PageRuler™ Plus Prestained Protein Ladder (10 to 250 kDa).
Traditionally, researchers working with low-abundance proteins or dilute protein samples had to compromise on target detection limits because of small sample volume capacities on protein gels. The Novex WedgeWell precast protein gels offer one of the highest sample loading capacities available in a mini-sized (8 x 8 cm), 1.0 mm thick Tris-glycine gel due to their proprietary wedge-shaped well design (Figure 2). This novel design nearly doubles the sample capacity without the need to increase gel thickness, thus allowing for transfer of larger amounts of protein to western blots and more sensitive detection of low-abundance proteins.
Figure 2. Increased sample volume capacity of Novex WedgeWell Tris-glycine gels.(A) To compare gel spillover, increasing volumes (20–60 μL) of a fluorescent
protein ladder were loaded in every other lane of a Novex™ WedgeWell™ Tris-glycine 10-well gel (left) or another supplier’s gel (right). Sample spillover in Supplier B’s gel is
seen in lanes adjacent to the 50 μL and 60 μL loading lanes. (B) Close-up view of the proprietary wedge-shaped well design of the Novex WedgeWell precast protein gels.
The modified chemistry of the Novex WedgeWell precast protein gels produces less band distortion and greater band resolution, as compared with classic Laemmli gels used by other suppliers (Figure 3). Additionally, Novex WedgeWell gels do not contain SDS and can therefore be used to run proteins in either native or denatured form, using either the Invitrogen™ Novex™ Tris-Glycine Native Sample Buffer and Running Buffer or the Invitrogen™ Novex™ Tris-Glycine SDS Sample Buffer and Running Buffer.