Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of its TGX FastCast acrylamide and TGX Stain-Free FastCast acrylamide kits, which provide handcast gel users access to Bio-Rad’s TGX gel chemistry, previously available only in precast gels. The TGX FastCast kits allow users to hand cast polyacrylamide gels with fast run times, efficient protein transfers, and consistent, reproducible results. Researchers can also take advantage of the TGX Stain-Free version, which allows users to monitor the success of each step in their protein electrophoresis and western blotting workflows.
Fast Casting, Running, and Transfer Times, Long Shelf Life
Unlike traditional handcast gels, which require 60 minutes to polymerize before running, FastCast gels can be used only 30 minutes after casting, saving valuable preparation time. Protein electrophoresis can then be run on these gels in as little as 20 minutes, three times faster than conventional Tris-HCl handcast gels.
As with Bio-Rad’s TGX precast gels, proteins can be transferred from FastCast gels in as little as 3 minutes when used with Bio-Rad’s Trans-Blot® Turbo™ transfer system. In addition to these performance advantages, FastCast gels can conveniently be stored for up to 4 weeks after casting, allowing researchers to cast multiple gels at once and use as needed.
“Having a 4-week shelf life is extremely useful, as the handcast gels I previously worked with only lasted two to three days, forcing me to plan my experiments around this limited shelf life,” said Aaron Ramsey, a graduate student in the biochemistry department at Virginia Tech. “Now I can cast several gels at once that I know will last for several weeks.”
Benefits of Going Stain-Free
The TGX Stain-Free FastCast acrylamide kits allow protein detection in gels or on membranes in 3–5 minutes using Bio-Rad’s stain-free imaging systems. This makes it possible for researchers to cast their gels and achieve complete protein separation, gel imaging, and data analysis in less than an hour.
The importance of stain-free technology is readily apparent in western blotting experiments, where it provides confidence at each step of the workflow through visual checks. Stain-free visualization also enables total protein normalization, a more accurate method than using housekeeping proteins for correcting loading errors.
“The TGX Stain-Free FastCast acrylamide kits allow me to skip using extra antibodies for detecting loading controls because I can use a stain-free gel image for normalization to multiple proteins in the sample,” said Alan Cochrane, PhD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Cochrane also says that stain-free gels give him better sensitivity than Coomassie staining.
To learn more about the TGX FastCast and TGX Stain-Free FastCast acrylamide kits, visit www.bio-rad.com/FastCast-acrylamide.