Vacuum drying of gels is a common preparation technique in gel electrophoresis applications for life science laboratories. The gel is heated on a dryer, while vacuum is applied to accelerate drying. Appropriately sized diaphragm pumps are typically used due to their chemical resistance
Vacuum gel dryers are commonly used to dry sequencing gels due to their large surface area. To dry sequencing gels crack-free requires steady vacuum as provided by two stage pumps (8 mbar / 12 mbar). Harsh chemicals are evolved from vacuum gel dryers so a chemical duty diaphragm vacuum pump is necessary with a flow rate of 35 lpm. A liquid trap or catch pot in-line is necessary to collect condensate that forms as hot vapors come off the gel dryer and condense in-line. These condense vapors need to be collected in the liquid trap so they are not ingested into the diaphragm vacuum pump. A 2 liter filtering flask can be used as a liquid trap.
Vacuum gel dryers and concentrators are sometimes found together in life science laboratories. Laboratories that are short of space find it convenient to use one vacuum pump for both devices. One chemical duty diaphragm vacuum pump can be used to serve the two devices by assembling a basic manifold with tubing and two in-line valves. A concentrator needs a deeper vacuum to evaporate solvents compared to a gel dryer.
Single stage chemical duty diaphragm pump with excellent 35 lpm flow at 60Hz and vacuum to 28.3 in Hg (53 mbar). The rugged, low maintenance oil-free vacuum pump has one PTFE head, perfluorelastomer valves, and fluoroplastic wetted surfaces that make it suitable for drying electrophoresis gels.
When the concentrator is in use, close the valve to the gel dryer. A liquid trap is necessary to remove the hot vapors that evolve from the gel dryer and condense in the tubing. For oligoneucleotide prep and biochemical/organic sample drying, a cold trap is recommended.
See below our vacuum pumps suitable for gel dryers.