Novex® NuPAGE® gel system by Invitrogen is a revolutionary neutral pH system for polyacrylamide mini-gel electrophoresis. A neutral pH means increased stability of proteins and gels, providing with increased confidence in electrophoresis and blotting results. Novex® NuPAGE® pre-cast protein gels provide the easiest solution to routine protein electrophoresis. They are manufactured in a variety of thicknesses and formulations suitable for separation of proteins of variable sizes. NuPAGE® Bis-Tris and Tris-Acetate gels are suitable for denaturing gel protein electrophoresis. NuPAGE® Tris-Glycine gels can be used for both native and denatured proteins. Pre-made running buffer (either native PAGE or SDS-PAGE, MOPS- and MES-based) can be purchased as a 10X concentrate to be diluted prior to use. To accommodate different sample volume requirements, gels are available in eight different well formats: From a single well to up to 17 wells, and two gel thicknesses. Each gel is individually wrapped in a plastic pouch and sold in boxes of ten gels. Gel packs are stored in the refrigerator and most types of gels have a shelf life of up to one year. Pre-made mini gels provide the most significant advantage, providing reproducible and reliable separation of proteins into well-resolved bands without spending loads of valuable time casting gels. The other advantages are the ease of use and assembly, and availability of the whole system (XCell SureLock™ Novex® Mini-Cell) to easily run these gels.
I ran Novex® NuPAGE® pre-cast protein gels using the XCell SureLock™ Novex® Mini-Cell system, manufactured by Invitrogen, Inc. The system includes buffer core, lower buffer chamber, gel-tension wedge, square plastic dam and the lid with the cords, which can be directly connected to any power supply. The set-up procedure was very easy with no clamps and/or screws. When I became familiar with the system, it took me less than 5 min to rinse the gel, assemble it on the apparatus, load the samples, and start the run. Handling the gels after the run is a bigger challenge because of their thinness, but following the instructions helped me avoid major breakage. Before our lab purchased these gels, I had done an extensive cost analysis and found the pricing to be very competitive.
I performed both native and denaturing protein and protein-DNA electrophoresis using both NuPAGE® Bis-Tris and Tris-Glycine gels of 1 mm thickness with 6-10 wells each. I analyzed protein extracts from lymphoblasts of patients and control samples looking for differences related to the disease. I did a number of separate, nearly identical runs and was very pleased to see exceptional run-to-run consistency. It is important to note, however, that because of their small size, these gels will only be suitable for applications which include analyzing proteins and DNA-protein complexes of small to medium molecular size.
In summary, my experience suggests that Novex® NuPAGE® pre-cast protein gels by Invitrogen are definitely a good choice for vertical mini-gel protein electrophoresis for a variety of applications.